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Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo notches first-half hat trick vs. Cagliari after Champions League elimination

Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus

A few days after being eliminated in the Champions League Round of 16 in stunning fashion, Cristiano Ronaldo had an emphatic answer to his critics in the form of a first-half hat trick in Juventus’ very next match.

Ronaldo ended the first half with three goals to his name in Juventus’ match against Cagliari in Serie A action at Sardegna Arena in Sardinia. Check it out:

The 36-year-old forward wasted no time finding the back of the net, scoring just 10 minutes into the match, before adding a penalty in the 25th minute and a third goal in the 32nd minute. This marks Ronaldo’s third hat trick since joining the Italian club in 2018 and his 57th hat trick overall.

This comes just days after Juventus got knocked out of the Champions League by Portuguese club Porto FC. They entered the second leg of their matchup trailing 2-1 but needing just a 1-0 victory to enter the quarterfinals. But instead, the club gave up two goals to Porto, with the second one coming in extra time and when the Portuguese club had just 10 men on the field.

After winning several Champions League trophies during his time with Real Madrid, Ronaldo has never made it to the semifinals of the tournament with Juventus and has now lost in the Round of 16 in consecutive seasons.

A few days after the loss, Ronaldo broke his silence on social media, posting a statement on Instagram saying that “champions never break” and that the team has moved on from the loss to Porto and instead is focused on Cagliari and Serie A play.

If his first-half performance is any indication, it is clear Ronaldo really is focused on defeating Cagliari and is proving that he is capable of bouncing back as he has throughout his career.