January 26, 2021

‘Ronaldo is ready to perform another miracle’ – Szczesny sounds warning to Juventus’ Champions League rivals

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The Bianconeri goalkeeper is backing the Portuguese superstar to help turn a last-16 tie with Lyon around and chase down more European glory

Wojciech Szczesny has warned JuventusChampions League rivals that Cristiano Ronaldo is “ready to perform another miracle” in European competition.

The Bianconeri are preparing to resume their continental campaign, with the second leg of a last-16 encounter with Lyon set to be taken in on Friday.

Maurizio Sarri’s side trail that contest 1-0 on aggregate but know they are more than capable of turning the tie on its head and progressing to the quarter-finals.

They faced a similar situation at the same stage last season, when Atletico Madrid opened up a two-goal advantage.

Ronaldo delivered a remarkable turnaround there, as he netted a second-leg hat-trick in Turin, and Szczesny believes the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is primed to deliver a repeat performance.

The Juve goalkeeper told Tuttosport: “I see a team ready, there is an environment similar to last year before the match against Atletico Madrid.

“We can do it again this year. A Ronaldo hat-trick again? Nobody in the world has doubts that Cristiano can do it again.

“As usual at the decisive times he makes the difference, he is ready to perform another miracle. 

“We are playing for an important goal, finding the motivation is not difficult, we are all concentrated. 

“Lyon seem physically fit, they also seem ready to play, we’ll see who will reach the quarter-finals.”

Juve return to European competition on the back of wrapping up a ninth successive Serie A title.

Domestic dominance has been maintained but the Bianconeri have been far from convincing at times in their pursuit of more major silverware.

Defeat was suffered in the Coppa Italia final, while they are yet to hit top gear in the Champions League.

Sarri does, however, have plenty of match-winning talent at his disposal and his side cannot be written off – especially as they have been keeping Ronaldo fresh for continental action.

He has savoured Champions League glory on five occasions in the past, across spells with Manchester United and Real Madrid, and is determined to help Juve to their first crown since 1996.

If they can safely negotiate their way past Ligue 1 giants Lyon, then a meeting with either Real or Manchester City awaits in the last eight.