⚽ ? ? Two-goal Ronaldo keeps Madrid kings of Europe
FT: Real Madrid 4 Juventus 1
Cardiff, United Kingdom | AFP | Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as Real Madrid crushed Juventus 4-1 in Cardiff on Saturday to become the first team to retain the European Cup in the Champions League era.
The Portugal superstar’s opener was cancelled out by an astonishing Mario Mandzukic strike, but goals from Casemiro, Ronaldo and Marco Asensio secured Madrid’s third Champions League triumph in four years and 12th in total.
Now a four-time Champions League winner, Ronaldo finished as the competition’s top scorer for the fifth season running, substantially enhancing his chances of matching fierce rival Lionel Messi’s tally of five Ballon d’Or crowns.
“We’re very happy to be the first team to win the Champions League in two consecutive years,” said Ronaldo, who has now scored exactly 600 goals for club and country in his extraordinary career.
“I finished the season very well. It is another record, a record that these players deserve and we are delighted.”
— Sergio Ramos (@SergioRamos) June 3, 2017
Zinedine Zidane, a head coach for only 17 months, became the first boss to oversee back-to-back European Cup successes since Arrigo Sacchi’s fabled AC Milan team won the tournament in 1989 and 1990.
“It’s a tremendous joy for the players and for this immense club,” Zidane told beIN Sports Spain.
“I am happy because it is not easy to win things like La Liga and the Champions League, and this year we did it with hard work and desire.”
Victory crowned a glorious season for Madrid, who have pulled off a La Liga and European Cup double for the first time since 1958, having also won the Club World Cup and European Super Cup.
Zidane’s joy was his former club Juve’s despair, Massimiliano Allegri’s side crashing to a fifth successive defeat in Champions League finals and seventh in total, extending their own desperately unwanted record.
The first Champions League final to be played beneath a closed roof saw Juve hit their heads against a familiar ceiling as they missed out on a chance to complete the first Treble in their history.
The Italian champions had substitute Juan Cuadrado sent off after he was shown a second yellow card for a gentle push on Sergio Ramos that drew a lamentable overreaction from the Madrid skipper.
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadrid) June 3, 2017