The battle of Cardiff is one that will be remembered for years and decades to come, although the rampant Real Madrid side appeared to navigate a seemingly difficult encounter with much ease than was predicted or even imagined. The UCL final between the Old Ladies of Italian football and the Galacticos of Spanish football turned out to be an entertaining and record-breaking encounter that saw Real Madrid set further records in the history of the UEFA Champions League, as they emerged as the first club to defend the UCL title.
This came a few years after achieving the La Decima and going a step further to accomplish the La Un decima. The final saw the likely next Ballon D’Or winner add more accolades to his UCL and football record books as he scored a brace in the final. He first goal on the night earned him the status of the only player to have scored in three straight UCL finals before he consolidated with a second on the night.
Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring in the 20th minute with a well taken placed shot before Mario Mandzukic leveled with a spectacular stunner of an overhead kick in the 27th minute to restore parity for Juventus. Brazilian midfielder Casemiro scored Real’s second on the night in the 61st minute to settle nerves before Ronaldo scored the third in the 64th minute effectively ending the game as a contest.
Juventus ensured that Zinedine Zidane’s men dug deep but the quick-fire goals for Madrid’s second and third definitely threw that theory out of the window.
Juan Cuadrado was dismissed from the game after receiving a second yellow in the 84th minute to compound Juventus’ woes as club veteran Gianluigi Buffon will have to wait another year to see if his wish for a UCL medal dangling from his neck materializes.
Real Madrid’s youth prospect Marco Asensio made light weight of the significance of the game as a final when he added the 4th goal in the 90th minute to make it seem one of the easiest finals of the UEFA Champions League in recent times going by the goal margin.
A Juventus side who had been very formidable in defense on their way to the finals had been exploited by Zidane’s attack fiery Madrid side who have taken no prisoners so far in the competition.
Real Madrid have effectively further established themselves as the overly and significantly most successful club side in European football with the feat they achieved on the night, although they had to wait a long while to accomplish Florentino Perez’ La Decima dream. This has seen them yearn for more and subsequently land more UCL laurels in the last few years.
The boss will definitely be spoilt for choice as his side have established themselves as the benchmark and club for others to follow if they aspire to attain greater success in UEFA Champions League football.
Zinedine Zidane has once again provided the right answer to another difficult question in his reign as manager at the Bernabeu by setting up his side to defend their UCL title. Credit must definitely be given to the Frenchman who has restored pride to the side, going by the standards they set in the past. Even Pep Guardiola may be jealous.
Lest we forget, finally, a UCL final without key man Ramos stealing the headlines.