Critics were on the back of Cristiano Ronaldo following his failure to open his goal scoring account for Juventus in the first three matches of the Seria A. The Portuguese superstar, one of the greatest footballers of all time, was feeling the heat due to a surprising barren run following his 101 million pound transfer from Real Madrid.
Many questioned if age has caught up on him, while others asked if he has it in him to do well in Seria A. But not for one second did Ronaldo seem affected by the constant attacks on him. Instead of using words as a reply, he did what he knows the best!
Against Sassuolo in the fourth Seria A match, the five-time Ballon d'Or scored a match-winning brace to earn his side a 2-1 win, as well as giving a befitting reply to his critics. It wasn't a vintage Ronaldo performance, but one which was enough to prove that the quality hasn't vanished.
The five-time Ballon d'Or opened his tally in Italy with arguably the easiest goal he'd ever score. A corner in the 50th minute from right side by Paulo Dybala caused mayhem in the Sassuolo box, and in that confusion, a defender headed the ball onto the post. It fell perfectly for Ronaldo, who tapped the ball in an empty net to settle his own nerves, as well as those of the fans.
With one coming, everyone knew many more goals will follow. And so they did!
In the 65th minute, Juventus broke from the midfield, and Sami Khedira sprayed a low pass to Ronaldo on the edge of the box. The former Real Madrid and Manchester United forward took one touch, and calmly slotted the ball past the goalkeeper.
It is a known fact that once Ronaldo gets started, there is no stopping him. A hat-trick seemed assured for the 33-year-old when he received a cross from the left in the six-yard area. But inexplicably, he side footed his effort wide. No one could believe what they saw, not even Ronaldo, who angrily kicked out at the post after the shocker.
The miss not only proved that he is a human, but also someone who is still a bit scratchy. Yet, it did not dent what was a landmark moment for the player, and a sign of things to come.