Real Madrid resoundingly restated its case as the world’s best soccer club on Saturday, getting two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and outclassing the Italian champion Juventus, 4-1, in the Champions League final in Cardiff, Wales.
The victory made Real Madrid the first team to repeat in the Champions League era, and the first to win consecutive titles in the competition since A.C. Milan in 1989 and 1990, when the tournament was known as the European Cup.
Real Madrid’s title was its 12th, extending its record, and its third in four years.
Ronaldo scored in each half, and on similar plays — clinical finishes inside the penalty area after he had found a pocket to receive a pass from a teammate on the right wing.
Casemiro scored Madrid’s second goal, on a 30-yard shot that deflected off the heel of a Juventus defender, and the 21-year-old substitute Marco Asensio added the capper by turning in a cross in the 90th minute.
Mario Mandzukic scored a memorable goal for Juventus on a scissoring shot midway through the first half, but it wasn’t nearly enough.
Juventus lost in the final for the seventh time, another record. It was the third defeat in the final for Gianluigi Buffon, its veteran goalkeeper, and denied the 39-year-old fan favorite the one title he covets most in his career.
After the referee Felix Brych blew his whistle to confirm Real Madrid’s victory, Ronaldo — the first player to score in three Champions League finals — fell to the turf.
On the sideline, his manager, the French World Cup winner Zinedine Zidane, pumped his fist to mark his second title in two seasons as Madrid’s coach. He had earlier lifted the trophy as a player for Madrid.
Far down the field, Buffon peeled off his gloves and walked slowly toward the center circle.
Madrid players took turns seeking him out to offer their condolences amid their joy.
Buffon, a three-time loser in the final, accepted each hug with a wry smile and a knowing shrug.
Real Madrid now have a record 12 European Cup wins.
Juve finished with 10 men after Juan Cuadrado was sent off in the 84th for a second yellow card after pushing Sergio Ramos and in the final minute of normal time substitute Marco Asensio added a fourth after some poor defending from the Italians.
Juventus fans hurt in bomb scare
About 400 people were being treated for slight injuries, Italian media reported.
About five people were seriously hurt, including a 7-year-old boy who was trampled, Sky TG24 reported.
Thousands of fans had gathered to watch the Champions League final in front of a giant screen in San Carlo Square.
During the second half of the match, which local club Juventus went on to lose 1-4 to Real Madrid, video cameras show a sudden rush in the middle of the crowd that caused a surge that flung people against barriers.
Many fans then began to run out of the centre of the square, screaming in fear.
The panic may been started by the explosion of a loud firecracker that was mistaken for a bomb, a Reuters witness said.
Afterwards shoes and bags littered the ground, people were seen limping and searching desperately for friends and relatives, the witness said.
Police have set up an information point to help people find their loved ones, and they are investigating what caused the panic.
Source: Reuters/New York Times