He jumped, scored, took his shirt off to get booked after performing his trademark “SUIIII…” and then subsequently saw the goal getting chalked off (rightly for an offside) in what was a miserable opening Serie A 2021/22 fixture against Udinese.
Perhaps no one, at that time, knew that this would be his last failed celebration in the Bianconeri shirt. The 2-2 draw in the Old Lady’s opening matchday marked the endgame of the Juventus version for one of the greatest footballers of all time, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Leaving the faithful of Turin with a glut of bittersweet memories, Ronaldo embarked on a new adventure, securing his sensational return to Manchester United for what could be the penultimate chapter in the Portuguese’s storied career.
Signed for €100 million from Real Madrid in 2018 to make him the highest-paid player ever in an Italian club, Ronaldo was the reason many were compelled to believe that Juventus could be a worthy competitor for the Champions League accolade in the years to come. One of the most celebrated names in world football, Ronaldo made them dream about conquering Europe once again.
With three years gone since that day, not every dream has been realised. Ronaldo has helped the Piedmontese club win two Scudetti in succession, one Coppa Italia, and two Supercoppa Italiana titles. But the club, unable to do so in the past three campaigns, appears to be now more distant to get their hands on the coveted UEFA Champions League.
Amid the air of despondency, we are here to recall and appreciate Cristiano Ronaldo’s greatest moments in the Biaconeri shirt.
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1. Cristiano Ronaldo’s first goal for Juventus
In the life of a professional footballer, the first goal for a club always leaves a significant impact. It marks the start of something adventurous and gives a massive boost to the particular player’s morale. Habitually motivated, Cristiano Ronaldo got his first and second in the same game, amassing a brace and matching the magnificent aura that he himself reflects.
Juventus locked horns with a promising Sassuolo side amid the exhausting summer heat of mid-September. Ronaldo had played three Serie A games after switching sides in the summer transfer window, and it was his fourth league appearance for the new club.
Having missed two decent chances in the opening half of the game, Ronaldo seemed utterly disjointed. He headed to the tunnel, with the match yet to witness the first blood. Five minutes into the second half, Ronaldo broke the deadlock with what should be one of the easiest finishes of his illustrious career so far.
Gianmarco Ferrari tried to sweep the ball over the bar. Poorly cleared, the ball struck the post and came back towards none other than Ronaldo. Like a predator to its prey, Ronaldo pounced onto the scene to meet the end of the rebound. A tap-in was enough to send the ball into the net. Ronaldo hurriedly ran for his first celebration in the Juventus shirt. The celebration was the real embodiment of the fact that he had to wait 320 minutes and launch 28 attempts to open the scoring in Serie A.
The second goal came from a well-guided counter-attack from Juventus players. Ronaldo was there to put the period at the end of the sentence with a low finish at the 65th minute of the game. Sassuolo scored once, but their collective effort fell short in front of Ronaldo’s individual brilliance.