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What Cristiano Ronaldo told ex-Manchester United team-mate Patrice Evra on WhatsApp before Atletico Madrid hat-trick

Cristiano Ronaldo

The Italian giants trailed 2-0 on aggregate going into the second leg in Turin, but a superb hat-trick from Ronaldo turned the tie on its head and sent Juve through to the quarter-finals.

Evra, who played alongside the Portuguese forward during his time at Manchester United before spending two-and-a-half seasons with the Turin giants, published the text messages he'd exchanged with Ronaldo in the build-up to the game, with the former Real Madrid star assuring him: “We gonna pass bro. Home we smash them.”

“Behind the scenes... these are messages between me and Cristiano five days before the massive comeback!!!” Evra wrote on Instagram.

“This just shows you the confidence, the anger, the determination from the best player in the world.

“We should thank [his] mummy and daddy and of course God for giving to us that nice man and unbelievable player.

“Every big occasion with big pressure my brother always proves he is the man!!! So please don’t be jealous I just wanna share and if you don’t agree I can’t do anything for you...

“Enjoy your life but you have to recognise he is simply the best of the best and don’t try to tap the screen for his number.”

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Alasdair Mackenzie is a freelance journalist based in Rome, and a FourFourTwo contributor since 2015. When not pulling on the FFT shirt, he can be found at Reuters, The Times and the i. An Italophile since growing up on a diet of Football Italia on Channel 4, he now counts himself among thousands of fans sharing a passion for Ross County and Lazio.