Cristiano Ronaldo beats Lionel Messi to Champions League top scorer award

Ross Houston
June 4, 2017

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos raises the trophy after the Champions League final soccer match between Juventus and Real Madrid at the Millennium stadium in Cardiff, Wales Saturday June 3, 2017.

But he ended the night as Real's hero, winning his third Champions League winners' medal for the Spanish club and fourth in total, as the 32-year-old continues to write new chapters in his glittering career.

They have also become the first team to defend the title since the competition was revamped in 1992.

His second goal on Saturday, to make it 3-1 in the 64th minute, put the game beyond Juves and made Ronaldo top scorer in this season's Champions League with 12 goals - one more than Barcelona's Lionel Messi, who he is constantly compared to.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice, becoming the first player to find the net in three Champions League finals.

Zidane, 44, led Madrid to glory in last season's Champions League less than 5 months after succeeding Rafael Benitez to take up his first managerial role.

Juventus can reflect on the deflection for the second Madrid goal - "Pjanic's shot gets deflected away and Casemiro's shot gets deflected towards the goal. that's football", Allegri said - and the lapse that turned a tight 1-1 encounter into a knockout in the space of 180 seconds.

Bayer Leverkusen were the surprise package of this tournament and were determined not to let the occasion of their first Champions League final pass them by without a fight.

-Juventus lost a record extending seventh European Cup final out of nine appearances.

A constant classy presence in midfield alongside the equally excellent Toni Kroos.

The emphatic nature of Madrid's victory removed some of the gloss from Mario Mandzukic's sensational equalizer for Juve, which cancelled out Ronaldo's 20th-minute opener.

"Of course I am staying, we must think now about next year", Zidane said.

"We thought we had enough to win the game". Madrid's two forwards, Benzema and Ronaldo, caused the three-man defence trouble throughout.

Juve centre back Leonardo Bonucci drove a long diagonal ball which Alex Sandro reached and cushioned back across the box. And when the ball came to Higuain, he flicked it square to Mandzukic with his back to goal. But the magnificence evoked memories of another showpiece staged in the United Kingdom when Zidane volleyed into the top corner in Glasgow to help Madrid beat Bayer Leverkusen.

Domination was verified after the break when Madrid went back in front - through Casemiro's strike which deflected off Sami Khedira - and this time the lead was retained.

The Croatian maestro was typically influential, running the show for Madrid in the middle of the park and setting up Ronaldo for Madrid's third. "In the second half their class, their strength, their ability to win these challenges was seen and they deservedly won", he said.

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