Ronaldo’s brace helps Real Madrid become the first team to retain the Champions League

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Ronaldo’s brace helps Real Madrid become the first team to retain the Champions League

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SportsCafe Desk

06/04/2017

Real Madrid defeated Juventus 4-1 in Cardiff to win the Champions League for a record-extending 12th time. Cristiano Ronaldo justified his status as the ultimate big game player as he scored twice to help Real Madrid become the first team to retain the Champions League last night.

It had been an even and enthralling opening half in Cardiff with Mario Mandzukic cancelling out Ronaldo's opener with a stunning overhead kick. After surviving a whirlwind Juventus opening, Real Madrid took control after the break, with Modric and Toni Kroos manipulating possession in midfield and Ronaldo providing the cutting edge. Madrid were unstoppable in the second half, restoring their lead through Casemiro's deflected shot before Ronaldo scored at the near post from a cross by the brilliant Luka Modric.

Though the final was built up as a  clash between Juventus' defence versus Madrid's attack, it was Ronaldo and Co. who completely overwhelmed their opponents on the night. And the Italian side's misery increased when substitute Juan Cuadrado was sent off for a second caution after a clash with Sergio Ramos and substitute Marco Asensio rounded off Madrid's superiority with a precise finish in the last minute.

The result means that Madrid's coach Zinedine Zidane has now won his second Champions League title in 18 months since he took charge in January 2016. Madrid also became the first team to retain the Champions League since AC Milan in 1989 and 1990, when the cup was only a knockout competition.

With his two goals last night Ronaldo has now scored in three different Champions League finals, more than any other player. He has scored in the 2008, 2014 and 2017 Champions League finals. 

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