Arrogance? Vanity? Whatever it is, it's the reason Cristiano Ronaldo is the incredible player he is 3 months ago

Arrogance? Vanity? Whatever it is, it's the reason Cristiano Ronaldo is the incredible player he is

Cristiano Ronaldo did that thing again before the second leg with Juventus on Wednesday night.

With the Real Madrid players gathering near the Bernabeu's halfway line for their pre-match team photo, Ronaldo, standing on the end of the back row, lifted himself on to his tip-toes. It's not the first time he's done it; it probably won't be the last, either.

To this day, nobody really seems to know for certain why he does it,  although plenty of people seem to subscribe to the theory that it's his way of making himself appear taller than the rest of his teammates, of getting himself noticed that little bit more.

In truth, for much of the game that followed, Ronaldo didn't do an awful lot to catch the eye. Although his team progressed to the Champions League semi-finals at full-time, their record breaking number seven - starved of decent service and stifled by Juve's wily back line for the vast majority of the night - cut an exasperated figure, making his feelings towards his teammates clear with a full range of unnecessarily exaggerated gestures.

It was a dismal, near-disastrous showing from the European champions, who found themselves rightly staring down the barrel of a quarter-final defeat nobody had even contemplated as the game entered stoppage time.

Cometh the hour, cometh the man.

Just as predictable as one final dose of Champions League misery for Gianluigi Buffon had been, it was equally as inevitable that Ronaldo would be the man to serve it up.

Toni Kroos floated a high ball towards the back post. Up leapt Ronaldo, nodding the ball back into the centre of the six-yard box and the direction of Lucas Vasquez. Mehdi Benatia, caught on the wrong side of Vasquez, was adjudged to have fouled him by Michael Oliver. Penalty.

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There was never any doubt as to who would end up taking the spot kick. With Buffon's Champions League career ended with a red card which came as he and several teammates passionately appealed Oliver's decision, Ronaldo placed the ball on the penalty spot and waited.

Eventually, with Wojciech Szczęsny in place, the Portuguese puffed out his cheeks, stepped up and fired his high-pressure spot kick emphatically into the Juve goal. Not even a hint of nerves about it. Classic Ronaldo.

The celebration, too, was typical of the man. Off came the shirt, and off he went, flexing is pecs for the world to see.

"Ronaldo loves the opportunity to show what he's made of, to show his mettle" Gary Lineker, hosting BT Sport's coverage of the game, later remarked. "It's a chance to show off and to do something that other mere mortals can't."

His assessment is absolutely fair. Ronaldo, no matter how quiet he's been throughout a match, will never turn down the opportunity to snatch headlines - even if doing so involves putting himself in high-pressure situations such as this.

Everything he does - be it the standing on the tip-toes in team photos, his penchant for shirtless goal celebrations or the fact he's always the man who demands to take the big, history-making penalties - is about getting noticed.

Some might see it as vanity or arrogance and perhaps they're right, to an extent. But this aspect of his character is the very reason he will go down as one of the finest players ever to have taken to a football field.