Real Madrid UEFA Champions!!!

They have tried since the beginning of the 21st century to create the ultimate winning machine at Real Madrid that might replicate the days when they were the prototype for the super-club, and at last it seems that the dream has been realised in this, the game’s most competitive era.

Their third Champions League in four years, the first time the European Cup has been successfully defended in its new format, a 12th overall title that takes them so far ahead of the pack as to be uncatchable for possibly another generation. The questions still remain as to how they have amassed such wealth and influence, and upon what foundations president Florentino Perez has built the modern club, but there is no question that the team itself is formidable.

In the end, the light went out for Juventus who were beaten by two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo as this final went from a tight first half into one of those routine Sunday afternoon La Liga strolls for the champions of Spain. An Italian team that has dug deep into its experience and picked up players discarded by wealthier clubs were ruthlessly exposed by Zinedine Zidane’s players and Juventus conceded more goals in Cardiff than the three they had in 12 previous matches in this competition.

Not since the AC Milan team of 1989 and 1990 have a club been able to come back for a second year and win this trophy and yet, from the moment that Casemiro, the Brazilian midfielder, clouted a shot that was deflected heavily past Gianluigi Buffon for the second, it was never in doubt. There were moments in the first half when Zidane’s side had wobbled and then when finally they hit their groove after the break there was to be no stopping them.

Written on June 7, 2017