Ronaldo Brace Seals Historic Champions League Triumph

Siboniso Mawandla | The Republic Mail

By Siboniso Mawandla

Real Madrid are the champions of Europe, becoming the first team to retain the title since AC Milan 27 years ago. They’ve now won three of the last four Champions League titles. Zinedine Zidane’s men have once again proved to be the Europe’s best club of all time after winning their 12 Champions League tonight.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as Real Madrid defeated 10-man Juventus 4-1 in Cardiff to retain their Champions League crown.

A thrilling first half saw Ronaldo put Madrid ahead, becoming the first player to score in three different Champions League finals in the process.

Mario Mandzukic equalised for Juventus with a spectacular overhead kick that will live long in the memory.

But Madrid dominated the second half as Juve collapsed, Casemiro scoring with the help of a huge deflection before Ronaldo made sure of the victory from close-range, ensuring he finishes above Lionel Messi as the competition’s top scorer in the process.

Any hopes of a Juventus comeback were ended when substitute Juan Cuadrado was sent off 18 minutes after coming on, the winger receiving a second yellow for a clash with Sergio Ramos, before Madrid substitute Marco Asensio put the icing on the cake in the last minute.

Having also secured LaLiga glory, the win seals a famous double for Zinedine Zidane in his first full season at the helm, with Madrid the first side since AC Milan in 1990 to win back-to-back European crowns.

Juventus, who had been seeking a treble after winning Serie A and the Coppa Italia, have now lost five straight finals since last tasting continental success back in 1996, including two of the last three, having also lost to Barcelona in Berlin two years ago.