Real Madrid, champions of the Spanish La Liga and defending champions, claimed the UEFA Champions League trophy for the 12th time by thrashing the Italian side Juventus 4-1 in Cardiff on Saturday. The Italian side went toe-to-toe against the Spanish champions, going into the half time with a score of 1-1 on the back of a brilliant equaliser by Croatian forward Mario Mandzukic. However, the Real midfield, populated by Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Casemiro outrun and outmaneuvered the Italian Serie A champions, feeding the ball to forwards Ronaldo and Benzema.
However, it was Christiano Ronaldo’s night with the Portugese forward proving his chops in the big game with two goals. With this, he became the first player to score in three Champions League finals, and a candidate for the Ballon d’or 2017.
— Real Madrid C.F.🇬🇧 (@realmadriden) June 4, 2017
Real were unbeatable after the halftime mark, restoring their goal advantage with Casemiro’s deflected shot before Ronaldo netted home at the near post from a cross pass by the outstanding Luka Modric.
Substitute Juan Cuadrado was sent off for a second caution, increasing Juventus’s misery, after an altercation with Sergio Ramos, before substitute Marco Asensio emphasised Real’s superiority with a precise finish in the last minute.
4 times in the row 👌 pic.twitter.com/2hBAkO1HBT
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) June 4, 2017
Since he took over in January 2016, Real manager Zinedine Zidane has now helped his side win back-to-back Champions Leagues – as well as this season’s La Liga title. This victory seems another scalp in a promising future for the Spanish side.
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadrid) June 4, 2017
On the other hand, Juventus suffered their seventh loss in nine appearances in Europe’s most prestigious tournament and will look to set things right for the next season.
Unsurprisingly, the spotlight has shifted to how Juventus might be able to make their squad stronger in order to offer a more serious challenge against Europe’s best teams next season. Coach Max Allegri, however, seemed to disagree with an overhaul.
“No I don’t think Juve have reached the end of a cycle at all,” the coach said after the game.
“(Gianluigi) Buffon will still be goalie next season and (Andrea) Barzagli with be with us for another year. They still have lots to give this club but we can improve the team.
“We all need to rest now but after the holidays we will return with new drive and stimulus.”
Still, the current squad is unlikely to play again next season, and an overhaul and consolidation of the Juventus mid-field seems on the cards.