Cristiano Ronaldo said prior to the first leg of Juventus’ Champions League last-16 tie against Porto that the Bianconeri needed to improve on their previous showings in Europe, yet three weeks later they have been knocked out of the competition.
In fact, in the three years that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has been at Juventus, his team has been knocked out in the quarter-finals against Ajax (2019) and at the last-16 stage against Lyon (2020) and Porto (2021).
What’s more, for the first time in European Cup and Champions League history, Juventus have been knocked out in the round of 16 in two consecutive seasons.
This is a vast difference from the success that Cristiano experienced at Real Madrid, where he reached the Champions League semi-finals eight years in a row and lifted four European Cups.
Cristiano has seen his goalscoring numbers in Europe take a dip, too. In the last three campaigns he has netted a combined 14 goals for Juventus (six in 2018/19, four in 2019/20 and four in 2020/21), while in his last year (2017/18) at Real Madrid he was the competition’s top scorer with 15 goals.
There could be even more disappointment on the horizon, as the Bianconeri, who have won the last nine Scudetti, look set to lose their domestic crown this year, with leaders Inter 10 points ahead with 12 games to go.
Juventus do have the Coppa Italia final to dispute on May 19 against Atalanta, and peculiarly enough, this is a trophy that Cristiano has not lifted after failing to win it in his first two years in Turin.