Cristiano Ronaldo single-handedly propelled Real Madrid into the UEFA Champions League semi-finals with three glorious goals on rainy night in Madrid.
Wolfsburg entered the Santiago Bernabéu with a two goal advantage, stemming from the first leg at the Volkswagen Arena. Pundits viewed Real Madrid as the underdog, considering Julian Draxler ran rampant on Zinedine Zidane's defense in Germany and Die Wölfe solely needed a single away goal to clamp Real Madrid into a position of self-loathing for their performance on the road.
The odds were stacked against the 10-time European champions but their iconic No. 7 realized the type of performance he needed to deliver to lift his club out of their self-dug ditch.
"It must be a perfect night...The key objective is getting through to the next round. It is the only option that will allow us players and the fans to leave the stadium happy".
Ronaldo displayed his quintessential self, further cementing his legend into Madrididistas' memories. He roamed the pitch laser-focused and each touch reeked of intent. Ronaldo decided to materialize into the hero he's evaded in too many significant matches in the past.
Ronaldo scored goals in the 16th and 17th minutes to equalize and immedietly put Wolfsburg on the back foot. A match that favored the Germans turned on its head in 86 seconds.
Ronaldo was zoned in.
From the second Dani Carvajal bolted forward past numerous Wolfsburg defenders, the Dark Invader locked eyes with the ball and mimicked each of Carvajal's movements, determined to stay onside. The moment Carvajal's cross deflected off Maxi Arnold, Ronaldo pounced and finished.
Between Toni Kroos' perfectly placed corner and Ronaldo's utter determination, Real Madrid left Diego Benaglio helpless. Before the Swiss had a chance to react, the ball already picked its resting spot in the back of the net.
In addition to his sheer perseverance, Ronaldo ditched the iconic post-goal production and instead used his celebration time to energize the crowd - an indication of Ronaldo's team-oriented mindset on this given day.
Ronaldo took matters into his own hands on the brink of full-time. The Portuguese positioned himself four steps behind a free-kick within striking distance. As expected, Ronaldo struck the dead ball and parted the Wolfsburg wall like the red sea, finalizing his rescue effort.
These types of performances aren't beyond Ronaldo's abilities. Prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Ronaldo single-handedly dragged Portugal past Sweden in a memorable five goal affair.
However, Tuesday's showing pushes Real Madrid into the UEFA Champions League semi-finals, three games from La Undécima.