Real Madrid win Champions League

Ross Houston
June 5, 2017

Cristiano Ronaldo added yet another trophy, along with some more astonishing milestones, to his growing personal collection after scoring a brace in Real Madrid's 4-1 UEFA Champions League final victory over Juventus in Cardiff.

In an exceptional career in which he keeps rewriting the record books, Ronaldo scored twice to become the first player in the 25 seasons of the Champions League era to score in three finals.

Ronaldo has now won 20 major trophies in his glittering career, with four Champions League triumphs, including three with Madrid and one at Manchester United.

It takes something special to even momentarily upstage Ronaldo, especially just after he has scored, but Juventus star Mandzukic managed exactly that. He finishes the season for the fifth straight year as the competition's top scorer with 12 goals and the Portuguese moves closer to matching Lionel Messi's record of winning the Ballon d'Or five times.

Zidane's men belatedly settled but found Juventus' defence unsurprisingly hard to breakdown, with late challenges and smart play denying them a shot until the 20th minute.

Bale struggled all season after enduring a series of injuries.

Madrid's dominant display gives them a 12th Champions League title and makes them the first to win it in successive years since the great AC Milan side of 1989 and 1990.

"Zidane believes in us a lot", Ronaldo said.

Last year's payout was a mere €700,000, plus another €100,000 for a Camp Nou Clasico win, meaning the squad almost doubled their haul as they returned to the Champions League summit for the second straight year.

His career goal tally in club and global soccer now stands at 600.

Keeping up the historic theme, Marca columnist Jose Felix Diaz wrote that Madrid had won finals in many different ways throughout their history, but the second-half performance at the Principality Stadium was the best since the days of Alfredo Di Stefano and Ferenc Puskas in the 1950s.

"I don't think Juventus has reached the end of a cycle at all", he said.

"It's incredible to win with Real Madrid and also to score in a Champions League final. It was a good choice of mine and my coach and I'm very happy for how I've finished". They nearly went ahead on six minutes as Miralem Pjanic's 20-yard effort brought an excellent flying save from Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas.

While Real Madrid celebrated, Gianluigi Buffon was forced to watch on. Modric played a one-two with Carvajal, latching on to the full-back's return pass down the right and digging out a superb cross, allowing Ronaldo to nip ahead of a stationary Bonucci and prod in from inside the six-yard box. The pressure finally told when Casemiro's speculative shot found its way into the bottom corner, with the ball flicking off Sami Khedira's heels and spinning beyond Buffon's reach.

Real started the second period far better than the first, with Luka Modric and Marcelo having efforts as they pushed forwards in numbers.

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