Ron­aldo real deal as Madrid re­tain champs cup

Sunday Times - - SPORT - AFP

CRIS­TIANO Ron­aldo scored twice as Real Madrid crushed Ju­ven­tus 4-1 in Cardiff last night to be­come the first team to de­fend the Cham­pi­ons League tro­phy in the modern 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 eter­nal ri­val Lionel Messi’s tally of five Bal­lons d’Or.

Zine­dine Zi­dane, a head coach for only 17 months, be­came the first man­ager to over­see back-to­back Euro­pean Cup suc­cesses since Ar­rigo Sac­chi’s fa­bled AC Mi­lan team won the tour­na­ment in 1989 and 1990.

It crowns 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 tri­umph was his for­mer club Juve’s mis­ery, 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 Ital­ian cham­pi­ons also had sub­sti­tute Juan Cuadrado sent off af­ter he was shown a sec­ond yel­low card for a gen­tle push on Ser­gio Ramos that drew a com­i­cal over­re­ac­tion from the Madrid skip­per. —

BRACE HERO: Cris­tiano Ron­aldo

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