Champions League

Buffon hails Ronaldo as world's most decisive player

2018-04-11 13:30
Cristiano Ronaldo (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon hailed Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo as the most decisive player in the world, a week after the Portuguese scored an outrageous bicycle kick against the veteran goalkeeper in the Champions League.

The Serie A leaders trail 12-times European champions Real 3-0 in their quarterfinal tie and need to produce a remarkable performance in Wednesday's second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu after Ronaldo's brace and Marcelo's late strike settled last week's encounter.

"I don't know if he is the most complete player because over the years I've faced some great footballers but right now he is the most decisive in his position, without a doubt," Buffon told reporters at a news conference ahead of Wednesday's game.

"He is remarkable, he's so consistent, he always scores goals," added Buffon of Ronaldo, who also scored twice against Juventus in last season's 4-1 win for Real in the Champions League final.

Ronaldo is the all-time top scorer in the Champions League and has finished as leading marksman in the competition's last five editions and again leads the way this campaign, with 14 strikes in nine games.

Buffon said in October that he would be ready to leave Juventus at the end of the campaign unless they won the Champions League, meaning Wednesday's game is likely to be his last in Europe's elite club competition. He has not made a definitive announcement about his future, however.

"It's possible, but I won't be depressed about it," said the 40-year-old, who has won the last six Serie A titles and the World Cup but never lifted the Champions League despite playing in three finals.

"When I was a child I would have accepted doing everything I have done and retiring at the Bernabeu. I'm going to see the positive side to this situation. The important thing is to try and ensure this isn't Juve's last game in the Champions League this season."

Juventus's veteran defender Andrea Barzagli has been ruled out of the game through injury while forward Paulo Dybala and midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur are suspended.

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Tuesday, 02 October 2018
Juventus v Young Boys, Allianz Stadium 18:55
Hoffenheim v Manchester City, Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena 18:55
Bayern Munchen v Ajax, Allianz-Arena 21:00
Olympique Lyonnais v Shakhtar Donetsk, Groupama OL Academy Decines-Charpieu 21:00
Manchester United v Valencia, Old Trafford 21:00
AEK Athens v Benfica, Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis 21:00
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PSG v Crvena Zvezda, Parc des Princes 18:55
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Porto v Galatasaray, Estadio Do Dragao 21:00
Atletico Madrid v Club Brugge, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 21:00
PSV v Internazionale, Philips Stadion 21:00
Borussia Dortmund v Monaco, Signal-Iduna-Park 21:00
Napoli v Liverpool, Stadio San Paolo 21:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Barcelona, Wembley Stadium 21:00
Tuesday, 23 October 2018
AEK Athens v Bayern Munchen, Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis 18:55
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Real Madrid v Viktoria Plzen, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu 21:00
Ajax v Benfica, Johan Cruijff ArenA 21:00
Shakhtar Donetsk v Manchester City, Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist 21:00
Manchester United v Juventus, Old Trafford 21:00
Roma v CSKA Moskva, Stadio Olimpico 21:00
Hoffenheim v Olympique Lyonnais, Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena 21:00
Wednesday, 24 October 2018
Club Brugge v Monaco, Jan Breydelstadion 18:55
PSV v Tottenham Hotspur, Philips Stadion 18:55
Liverpool v Crvena Zvezda, Anfield 21:00
Barcelona v Internazionale, Camp Nou 21:00
PSG v Napoli, Parc des Princes 21:00
Lokomotiv Moskva v Porto, RZD Arena 21:00
Borussia Dortmund v Atletico Madrid, Signal-Iduna-Park 21:00
Galatasaray v Schalke 04, Turk Telekom Stadyumu 21:00
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Monaco v Club Brugge, Stade Louis II 19:55
Crvena Zvezda v Liverpool, Stadion Rajko Mitic 19:55
Porto v Lokomotiv Moskva, Estadio Do Dragao 22:00
Atletico Madrid v Borussia Dortmund, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 22:00
Internazionale v Barcelona, Stadio Giuseppe Meazza 22:00
Napoli v PSG, Stadio San Paolo 22:00
Schalke 04 v Galatasaray, Veltins-Arena 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v PSV, Wembley Stadium 22:00
Wednesday, 07 November 2018
Valencia v Young Boys, Estadio de Mestalla 19:55
CSKA Moskva v Roma, VEB Arena 19:55
Juventus v Manchester United, Allianz Stadium 22:00
Bayern Munchen v AEK Athens, Allianz-Arena 22:00
Viktoria Plzen v Real Madrid, Doosan Arena 22:00
Benfica v Ajax, Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz) 22:00
Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk, Etihad Stadium 22:00
Olympique Lyonnais v Hoffenheim, Groupama Stadium 22:00
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