When you consider the track record of the Atletico Madrid defence over the last five or six years, the 2-0 lead that they took to Turin for the second leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie against Juventus [VIDEO] on Tuesday night looked almost unassailable.

Atletico Madrid is well known for grinding out results with their supremely well drilled and experienced back five. They would have been expected by many to shut Juventus out.

However, this season, Juventus are no ordinary team. Because, even at the age of 34, Cristiano Ronaldo still sits comfortably among the pantheon of elite players in the modern game. The expensive summer acquisition from Real Madrid has cemented Juve's place at the top of Serie A and now they have Ronaldo to thank for dragging them into the quarterfinals of the greatest club competition on the planet.

Cristiano Ronaldo has lost his pace

Gone are the days of Cristiano Ronaldo's blistering wing wizardry. In his thirties, as his pace has waned, Cristiano has evolved from a devastating creator into an equally effective goalscoring phenom.

His predatory hat-trick on Tuesday humbled Atletico Madrid and Juventus scaled this particular mountain with energy to spare against an unusually meek Diego Simeone vintage.

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So Juventus march into the draw for the quarterfinals. But they will need more than Cristiano Ronaldo to navigate much deeper into the competition.

Because many pundits' pre-season favourites for the Champions League have looked slow in comparison to some of their European counterparts this term. They lost to Manchester United in Turin in the group stage and didn't shower themselves in glory in the first leg of this tie.

Juventus may struggle - even with Cristiano Ronaldo

How will Juventus cope with more fleet-footed beasts like Manchester City and Barcelona? Those two clubs would perhaps relish a two-legged tie against The Old Lady of Turin rather than playing each other or Liverpool.

For all their qualities this is a team of veterans. Players with huge experience but a group who may feel the pinch in the legs long before the final whistle in the sorts of gruelling battles that lie ahead in the Champions League.

With their inimitable Portuguese spearhead looking as strong as ever, no one would completely dismiss Juve's chances of progressing in the competition. But the smarter money would surely go on the arguably richer and more evenly spread talents of the Manchester City, Barcelona and Liverpool squads.

If these predictions prove correct then perhaps this could be the last time we witness such feats, at this level, from a footballing maestro who has re-written the history books of the sport.

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