He did what he always does. And Real Madrid did what they have done so often since this rather magnificent trophy was first awarded in 1956. Cristiano Ronaldo, at 32, is still demanding centre stage. He won an FA Cup final at this stadium in 2004 as a callow youth against Millwall. It was his first ever team trophy.
Cristiano Ronaldo passed the remarkable 600 career goal milestone as he fired Real Madrid to the Champions League final in Cardiff. Ronaldo netted his 599th and 600th goal as Los Blancos romped to a 4-1 victory in the Welsh capital. And he shows no signs of letting up.
The Portuguese lifted his fourth Champions League after winning one for Manchester United before a further three for the Spanish giants. On Saturday night, the opposition was somewhat more glamorous, the prize somewhat more treasured but the performance has remained the same.
He did what he does, which is to lead from the front and ensure that, if silverware is at stake, he is the man left holding it at the end. The Portugal international struck soon after Casemiro had put Real Madrid ahead against Juventus to make the score 3-1 in the second half in Cardiff.
He had also opened the scoring with a snapshot to beat Gianluigi Buffon. And with his second of the evening, Ronaldo reached the 600 mark in all competitions in his professional career. His record includes 529 strikes at club level, scored at Sporting, Manchester United and Madrid, as well as 71 international goals.
No less than 106, meanwhile, have come in the Champions League, making him the competition’s all-time highest scorer.
Real Madrid Vs. Juventus Goal Highlights…
Real Madrid 1-0 Juventus (Cristiano Ronaldo 20′)
Real Madrid took the lead in the game after a slick passing move resulted in Ronaldo scoring his first goal of the night. Fellow striker Karim Benzema and Ronaldo were involved in the build-up before Dani Carvajal’s cut-back from the right came in the Portugal international’s path who produced a first time shot on target by finding the far corner albeit with the help of a slight deflection off Leonardo Bonucci.
Real Madrid 1-1 Juventus (Marion Mandzukic 27′)
Real Madrid’s lead lasted just seven minutes before Mandzukic leveled matters in some style. Bonucci’s pass from the defense was moved along forward by winger Alex Sandro and striker Gonzalo Higuain – the ball not leaving the ground throughout – to set up Mandzukic and the Croatian took one touch on his chest and unleashed a sublime overhead kick into the top corner. Keylor Navas tried his utmost to tip it over but was not equal to it.
Real Madrid 2-1 Juventus (Casemiro 61′)
Real Madrid once again took the lead in the 61st minute with Juventus clearly opting to sit back and the Spaniards made the most of the opportunity granted to them. Just after the hour mark, Toni Kroos’ shot was blocked and the rebound came to Casemiro who unleashed a shot from 35 yards out. The ball took a wicked deflection off Sami Khedira to beat Gianluigi Buffon in goal despite a despairing dive to his right.
Real Madrid 3-1 Juventus (Ronaldo 64′)
Momentum clearly on their side, Ronaldo added to Real Madrid’s advantage minutes later and put the game all but beyond Juventus. Luka Modric and Dani Carvajal played a one-two on the right side with the youth team player providing space for the Croatian international to pull a ball back into the near post which was latched on to by Ronaldo. With no defensive cover at the near post, Ronaldo casually angled the ball past Buffon and gave Real a 3-1 advantage.
Real Madrid 3-1 Juventus (Cuadrado Red Card)
If things weren’t already going terribly for Juventus, they got worse when substitute Juan Cuadrado was sent off for a second yellow card. On his part, Cuadrado hadn’t done much to warrant a second booking but theatrical stuff from Sergio Ramos got him the sending off. The whole thing was minimal with a little push by Cuadrado on Ramos’ back and a little touch on his heel but was made most of by the Real Madrid captain in embarrassing fashion.