Cristiano Ronaldo got a brace as Real Madrid on Saturday beat Juventus 4-1 at the Millennium Stadium Cardiff to become the first team to retain the trophy in the Champions League era. Ronaldo struck twice to deny the “Old Ladies” their quest for European glory since 31 years and a club’s unprecedented treble – having won the Serial A league and the Italian Cup.
With the La Liga in their kitty, Madrid’s victory helped them to complete their first La Liga and European Cup double since the 1957-58 season.
Ronaldo’s brace helped him to his 12th Champions League goal, as he toppled Messi with 11, to become the highest scorer in the competition for the fifth consecutive year. It was also his fourth Champions League triumph.
A rugged Juventus defence had made Ronaldo look ordinary. In fact it took him seven minutes for him to make the first ball contact. But when it mattered he showed up in the 20th minute to break Italian hearts.
Casemiro had restored Real’s sixteen minutes after the break after Mario Mandzukic wonder goal had cancelled Ronaldo’s opener.
But Ronaldo, three minutes later ruthlessly finished off Juventus to finally stamp his claim as one of the game’s greatest players.
Playing his fifth Champions League final, Ronaldo became the first player since Madrid legend Di Stefano to score in three European Cup finals.
Juventus keeper, Gianluigi Buffon’s dream of crowning his third final appearance with a win remains unfulfilled and it now seems that he might retire from football without winning club football’s greatest price as he had hoped.
His club Juventus, with the defeat, failed in their bid to become the eighth European club to have completed the Treble and the second from Italy, after Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan in 2010.
It was Real’s eighth win in eighth Champions League final.