2. Ronaldo vs Wolfsburg When Real Madrid got drawn to face Wolfsburg in the 2015/16 Champions’ League quarterfinal, most saw that as an easy passage to the last four. The German side had done well to reach this stage after losing De Bruyne in the close season, but this looked a step too far. So when they defeated the Spanish side 2-0 in the first leg, it took football fans all over the world by surprise. Not only did they defeat the 10 time champions, but they did it without conceding an away goal. Even for a team as prestigious as Real Madrid, this was a tall order. But in Ronaldo, Real Madrid have an indefatigable force. His virtuoso performance saw him net yet another Champions’ League hat trick, but more importantly take the Spanish side to their sixth consecutive semi-final. Admittedly, Real Madrid’s 3-0 victory was a total team performance. From top to bottom, Los Blancos totally outplayed their opponents. With that been said, it’s hard to see how they would have changed things without Ronaldo. The Portuguese was not just clinical in his finishing, but his work rate was phenomenal. With this performance, Ronaldo proved that he was still arguably the most decisive player in world football. What decline?
And last but not least.
Lewandowski vs Real Madrid It is hard to think of a more career defining performance in the last ten years of the Champions’ League. With this four goal performance, Lewandowski went from being one of Europe’s hottest prospects to Europe’s most talked about striker. Before the game the arguments were whether Ibrahimovic, Aguero or Van Persie was the world’s best striker. After the game there was no question. Lewandowski not only guaranteed Borussia Dortmund would be playing in a Champions’ League final for the first time since 1997, but he did it in the most amazing way possible. This was a Real Madrid team featuring Pepe, Varane and Sergio Ramos in defence. A Madrid team that also had Higuian, Ozil and Ronaldo. But when it’s your night, it’s your night. Lewa was impossible to stop. This was like the best of Eto’o merged with the best of Drogba – all quick feet and muscular presence. It should be pointed out that Dortmund as a whole were too quick, too skillful and too powerful for Real Madrid. Gundogan put on a masterclass in midfield. Gotze and Reus were simply irrepressible. But for that one night in Germany, Dortmund had the perfect weapon spearheading the attack. For that one night, Lewandowski showed that he is arguably the most complete striker of his generation.
Gbemi Aderemi (Guest Contributor)