Ronaldo helps Real Madrid turn 1st group to keep CL title

CARDIFF, Wales — After another manly proof of his fast scoring prowess, positively no Real Madrid fan can anticipate criticizing Cristiano Ronaldo now.


Particularly after a universe actor of a year ensured Madrid pulled off one of soccer’s hardest feats, apropos a initial group to successfully urge their Champions League title.

The critics who raw Ronaldo so most in a buildup to Saturday’s final were silenced in fatiguing character with dual goals in a 4-1 feat over Juventus that gave Madrid a record-extending 12th European crown.

“People don’t have difference to criticize,” Ronaldo said, “because a numbers don’t lie.”

They positively don’t after another implausible season, even during a age of 32.

“My age is usually a number,” Ronaldo said. “I feel like a immature boy.”

At a finish of a 25th deteriorate of a Champions League, Ronaldo is a initial actor to measure in a 3 of a competition’s finals. And carrying carried a European Cup once with Manchester United, Ronaldo has finished it 3 times in 4 seasons with Madrid.

It’s a latest square of silverware in an implausible 12 months for a forward.

It began with Ronaldo winning his initial pretension with Portugal during a European Championship. Then came a Club World Cup with Real Madrid and a finish of a five-year Spanish pretension drought before new highs were reached in a Champions League.

His career idea total in bar and general soccer now stands during 600.

Ronaldo’s initial strike during Millennium Stadium was canceled out by Mario Mandzukic’s artistic 27th-minute offshoot shot. It was a usually high indicate for Juventus on a night when a Italian champion was outclassed in a query for a initial European pretension in 21 years.

Madrid’s leverage was transparent in a second half.

After Casemiro put a Spanish champions behind in front in a 61st, Ronaldo incited in a third during a nearby post inside 3 minutes, and Marco Asensio wrapped adult a scoring in a 90th.

Juventus conceded some-more goals on a night than it had on a tour to a final, carrying let in usually 3 in a prior 3 games.

“In a second half Real Madrid pushed a accelerator,” Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri said, “and we remained too immobile and sat behind too long.”

Madrid’s aggressive luminosity valid too tough for Juventus to contain, giving Zinedine Zidane his second Champions League pretension in 18 months of top-flight management.

“Zidane believes in us a lot,” Ronaldo said. “He knows that we are a really good group and that is because we valid it in a second half.”

Until now, no group given AC Milan in 1989 and 1990, when a crater was usually a knockout competition, had won back-to-back titles.

Madrid had a lot to appreciate Keylor Navas for in a opening minutes. The goalkeeper blocked a header and strike from Gonzalo Higuain, and constructed a one-handed save when Miralem Pjanic picked a opening by a throng of defenders.

One of a initial things Navas’ counterpart, Gianluigi Buffon, had to do was collect a round out of his net.

It was a soundness of a counterattack of monumental speed launched by Luka Modric and Toni Kroos. Karim Benzema picked adult possession and upheld to Ronaldo. The universe actor of a year knocked a round opposite to Dani Carvajal on a right side before flapping into a chastisement area to accept it behind and kick Buffon.

But within 7 minutes, Ronaldo was jolt his conduct with a glower after saying an equalizer of particular brilliance.

Leonardo Bonucci’s low round was brought down by Alex Sandro, who cut it behind to Higuain in a chastisement area. With his behind to goal, Mandzukic perceived a chipped pass from Higuain and used his chest to control a round before hooking it over his shoulder into a distant tip corner.

Mandzukic also scored a final time a final was hold in Britain, when Bayern Munich kick Barcelona in 2013. But a gracefulness evoked memories of another showpiece staged in a U.K. when Zidane volleyed into a tip dilemma in Glasgow to assistance Madrid kick Bayer Leverkusen.

This time, Zidane was a witness on a Madrid sidelines, though enjoying it usually as much.

Domination was accurate after a mangle when Madrid went behind in front — by Casemiro’s strike that deflected off Sami Khedira — and this time a lead was retained.

It due most to Madrid determining midfield, mostly interjection to Modric, who set adult Ronaldo’s second. The Croatian timed his cutback to soundness in a 64th to concede Ronaldo to spook in between Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini and container in during a nearby post.

Juve’s night took a spin for a worse when Juan Cuadrado was discharged for a second engagement in a 84th. And to devalue their misery, Asensio kick Buffon again as a 39-year-old goalkeeper missed out on a initial European title.

“(Madrid) showed their category and a opinion indispensable to play in this kind of game,” Buffon pronounced after losing a third final.

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