Champions League: Cristiano Ronaldo is not enough as Juventus are out

Updated: Apr 18, 2019, 08:19 IST | AFP | Turin (Italy)

Juve's 100million euros super star's opening goal in vain as Ajax net twice in quarter-final return leg to dump Old Lady in Turin; Dutch lads mesmerise

Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo is frustrated as his team trails Ajax in Turin on Tuesday
Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo is frustrated as his team trails Ajax in Turin on Tuesday

Even Cristiano Ronaldo was not enough for Juventus to end their 23-year wait for the European title as they crashed out in the Champions League quarter-finals for a second consecutive year. Juventus splashed out 100 million euros on the five-time Champions League-winner last summer and the Portuguese star headed in his 126th Champions League goal to put the home team in front on Tuesday. But a young Ajax team, spearheaded by teen defender Matthijs De Ligt, 19, ran riot in the second half to seal a famous 3-2 aggregate victory.

"We should have scored five," said Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek, 21, who turned the tide with a first-half equaliser when Juventus were on top. Captain De Ligt then score the winning header in the 67th minute.

Ajax players celebrate their victory. Pics/AFP
Ajax players celebrate their victory. Pics/AFP

Juve shares drop 15%
"Apocalypse," read the headline in daily Corriere dello sport, as Juventus shares plunged 15 percent on Wednesday on the Milan stock exchange. Juventus have lost five finals since 1996 when they won their last title, beating Ajax. Ronaldo was bought to change that and handed an annual salary of 31 million euros.

Juve boss Allegri rues injuries
"Football isn't math. Ronaldo gave us a lot during the season. We signed him to increase our chances of winning the Champions League, but in football one plus one does not always make two, it can also be either six or zero. We were missing four or five players [due to injury]," said Coach Massimiliano Allegri.

Ajax skipper Matthijs de Ligt (No. 4) heads in the winning goal
Ajax skipper Matthijs de Ligt (No. 4) heads in the winning goal

Ajax did not just upset Juventus, they outplayed them, having conquered the mighty Real Madrid earlier. For Ajax once again it was homegrown youngsters, who caught the eye. Besides van de Beek and de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong, 21, sparkled in midfield and Brazilian David Neres, glinted in attack. But the team is already starting to break up. De Jong has agreed to join Barcelona next season and the De Ligt is also likely to leave.

1996
The last time Juventus won the Champions League

126
No. of Champions League goals scored by Ronaldo

24
The average age of the Ajax team that beat Juventus

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