Ronaldo returns to Portugal to face "Pepe" ... and is looking forward to Goal 135
Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo returns for the first time to his country as a player in the ranks of Juventus, when his team arrives tomorrow at Porto in the first leg of the semi-final of the UEFA Champions League.
Ronaldo, the historical scorer of the competition with 134, dreams of strengthening this figure by scoring the 135th goal, and leading his team to an important victory in the first leg, and the confrontation will be emotional, being his first against his former Real Madrid teammate and the Portuguese team Pepe.
Juventus is still trying to find his style under the leadership of new coach Andrea Pirlo, but the old lady's team is yearning for European glory after losing five finals in the Champions League since its last title in 1996. Juventus will count on the five-time Golden Ball holder and the historic scorer in the Champions League (134) ) Who arrived from Real Madrid in 2018 to lead him to the upcoming title.
Ronaldo will face a team from Portugal for the first time since 2016 when Real Madrid beat Sporting 2-1 back and forth in the group stage of the Champions League.
However, the last visit to Porto's "Dragão" stadium goes back to the second leg of the Champions League quarter-finals with his former club, Manchester United.
The confrontation was at stake after a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford.
However, Ronaldo settled it with the only goal of the match when he fired a ball with his right hand from a distance of 35 meters to lead his team to the semi-finals and win at the end of 2009 the "Puskas" award presented by the International Federation (FIFA) for the best goal of the year.
Ronaldo played 12 European matches against a Portuguese team between Benfica, Porto and Sporting, during which he scored four goals in addition to four assists.
"I expect to win, but we know that the task will be very difficult," veteran Porto defender Pepe told the official UEFA website.
The 37-year-old played alongside Ronaldo at Real Madrid and together they won the Champions League title on three occasions (2014, 2016 and 2017).
"In my opinion, with Cristiano Ronaldo, they have the best player in the world. I have never played against him," the Brazilian-born Portuguese international added.
"It will be a special match between Porto and Juventus more than the confrontation with Ronaldo and Pepe. Porto has never beat Juventus. I hope this is the first time."
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