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Cristiano Ronaldo says Juventus need to “bring their A game” as they begin their quest to reach the first Champions League final in four years.
The Serie A champions progressed as Group G winners after beating Barcelona 3-0 at the Camp Nou on matchday six.
The knockout phase began on Wednesday against Porto, who were the only team to avoid two defeats to Manchester City in Group C.
Porto have failed to beat Juve in five previous European meetings and the Bianconeri are one of only two teams to play the Portuguese giants at least twice without conceding a goal.
Andrea Pirlo’s side have won 11 of their previous 13 Champions League games, including all three away from home this season, but come into the game after a 1-0 league loss to Napoli that leaves them eight points behind. from the leader, Inter. they have played one more game.
Juve have been unable to make it past the quarter-final stage since they last reached the final in 2016-17, when two goals from Ronaldo helped Real Madrid win 4-1 in Cardiff.
The 36-year-old is determined to lead Juve back to another final this season as his goal is to end a 25-year wait for the biggest club prize in European football.
“This is what the Champions League is all about – the knockout rounds,” Ronaldo wrote on Instagram on Tuesday. “It is almost as if another competition started from this point and everyone had to contribute their best game, because every detail can make a difference.
“In the last few years we went home earlier than we wanted to, but we continue to aim higher each season and this year is no exception.
“Tomorrow we have a very important [sic] I play against a very strong team and I can only hope it’s the beginning [sic] of the walk we want to do until the end. Respect for the rival, ambition for victory and focused 100 percent on our goals. Let’s go guys! Fine Alla Bien! “
Porto were the first team Ronaldo faced in Champions League knockouts in the 2003-04 campaign, when eventual winners José Mourinho eliminated Manchester United in the round of 16.
His last appearance against them was five years later, when his Puskas Award-winning goal at the Estadio do Dragao sent United to the semi-finals.