Champions League Final review; Real Madrid reign supreme and Cristiano Ronaldo proved to the world once again who is the best.
Who would have known, after the poor start to the season, that Cristiano Ronaldo would triumph once again in Champions League, and this time the first League+European Cup/Champions League double for what, 5 centuries?! None, myself included. But Cristiano Ronaldo did it once again and Real Madrid reign supreme.
The UEFA Champions League Final was “feisty” to say the least, Juventus controlled the 1st half. The flow of the game was just how they wanted it to go. Real Madrid started sleepy, like they have started EACH AND EVERY match this season. Now im not sure if that is over-self confidence or what, but it is annoying! When you know the team can do better, MUCH better. The rhythm is slow, the pace is nowhere to be seen, sloppy all around the pitch, except for that one vital through ball+pass+shot which once again proved to work. 0-1 for Real Madrid By Cristiano Ronaldo, who else?
After the goal, it was Juventus in control of the ball even more than before. Real Madrid went passive and let Juventus build. This time though, they defended as a team, even Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo took part, but they were not prepared for what was about to come; Because the equalizing goal By Mario Mandukic, just might have been the goal of the season:
Now the goal was SUBLIME, unbelievable. BUT, for Real Madrid fan or anyone who was not rooting for Juve, you thought; Navas should have caught that, but he didn’t. WHAT A GOAL! OH MY! And the likely 0-2 scoreline had just turned into a feisty 1-1.
Nothing more spectacular happened on the 1st half, and the HT score was 1-1.
But When the 2nd half started, something clearly was wrong in Juventus side. They were the dominant side on the 1st half, By a fair margin. But as soon as the 2nd half started, the momentum had completely shifted. Juventus had no chance whatsoever from that point on. Real Madrid played up their usual high standards and controlled every part of the pitch. The eventual winning goal came on 61st minute, it was scored By Casemiro (If i had a penny every time i say that, i would have 2 pennies). He blasted a rocket of a shot from 30+ yards away, and the shot took 2 deflections before it went past Buffon.
Only few minutes later Ronaldo got his brace, by neatly guiding a cross from Modric in, from a very tight angle. The movement of Cristiano Ronaldo in that goal was amazing, Bonucci and Chiellini was positioned wrong and Buffon had no chance to catch it. 1-3 for Real Madrid on 64th minute. The match was officially buried at this point (if it ever was a match to begin with, judging By the 2nd half collapse of Juventus). That Ronaldo goal, was his 600th career goal for official matches. His 108th in the UEFA Champions League. 3rd different UCL Final he has scored in. His 12th of the season in UCL, meaning he went past Messi in the Champions League scoring table, in the final. Give the man his Ballon’Dor already.
Now me personally, i had a 1-3 scoreline bet going for Real Madrid, would have won just over 1200€. Needless to say, i was somewhat annoyed at the last-minute of normal time, when Real Madrid substitute Marco Asensio scored the 1-4 goal. That was the last statistical happening of the match, the UCL Final ended; Juventus 1-4 Real Madrid.
Champions League final review, Real Madrid reign supreme, but HOW/WHY did Juventus melt down?
So the Champions League final ended 1-4 in favour of Real Madrid. Safe to say; Real Madrid reign supreme. Cristiano Ronaldo proved to the world who’s the best player in the world, maybe even the best player in the history of the beautiful game. But that’s an opinion, we all have one, so its hard to argue about that. Ronaldo and Real Madrid stepping up their game is one explanation to the outcome, but what about Juventus??
The most puzzling part about the Champions League final has to be the meltdown of Juventus. It makes very little sense, as there was no change of formation By either side, no substitutions at half-time either. Real Madrid stepped up their game, but it still doesn’t quite explain the degree of Juventus meltdown. They conceded 4 goals, in the previous Champions League matches, the conceded a total of 3.
The difference between 1st half display and 2nd half display was phenomenal. By both teams, but the more curious case is the Juventus display. Real Madrid took control of the match completely, soon after the 2nd half started. Juventus players started to look tired already at this point. Real Madrid rolled in like a machine, wave after wave, going closer and closer. At some point, you could not believe this was the famous Juventus defensive line at work. Real Madrid created SO many good chances INSIDE their box, the eventual numbers could have been far more devastating than 1-4. Barring few great interceptions, the Juventus BBC was a horror show in the 2nd half. Soon after 1-3 goal, Allegri took out Barzagli and installed Cuadrado. That move looked like it was working for a while(the change came too late, Allegri should have reacted after first 5 minutes of 2nd half). And then…
One of the more controversial scenes in the match, happened on 83rd minute. This one pisses me off, the TV angle showed Ramos going down after a “touch” from Cuadrado. But what happened was that Cuadrado stepped on Ramos’ foot. He received his 2nd yellow card for that, and Juventus had to play shorthanded for the remaining 10 minutes. The aftermath; Sergio Ramos gets called cheater, diver, etcetera. When in fact it was none of the above. Sergio Ramos is a hot-head, and he has the tendency to make a meal out of contacts every once in a while. This situation though, was not one of those times. Cuadrado stepped on his foot, on purpose. Now the superheroes of social media can say what they want, but if someone steps on your foot with studs, it hurts. All that was, was a stupid move By already frustrated Cuadrado.
Real Madrid won the 12th Champions League title in the history of the club. They are the first team to win back-to-back UEFA Champions League title’s, the Champions League “curse” is no more. Ronaldo’s first goal of the night was the 500th Champions League era goal for Real Madrid. They now stand at 503. Here are the 6 teams with most goals in Champions League history;
- Real Madrid 503
- Barcelona 459
- Bayern Munich 415
- Manchester United 350
- Arsenal 281
- Juventus 264
There was an incident in Turin square, where thousands and thousands of people were watching the match. At first it was thought that there was an explosion of some sort (IE. an attack), but later it was supposedly fireworks or a banger. Nevertheless, the “explosion” sound caused a stampede among the thousands of fans. Hundred’s of people injured. This might be one of the reasons for Juventus poor 2nd half display. Though i don’t believe that anyone would have told the players at this point, it happened somewhere in the 2nd half (i think). But it is a possibility, and it would explain the poor display on the pitch to some extent.
Champions League Final statistics and records;
- Real Madrid won their 12th European Cup/Champions League title.
- Real Madrid has won 3 out of the last 4 Champions League title’s.
- Real Madrid are the first team to win back-to-back Champions League title’s after the re-branding of the competition (AC Milan won the last back-to-back title’s back in European Cup era).
- Real Madrid have won all 6 of the Champions League Final’s they have played.
- Real Madrid is the 1st team to reach 500 goals in the competition.
- This was the 6th UCL Final for Juventus, of which they have only won 1.
- Juventus conceded more goals (4) in the Final than in the previous 11 matches (3) in Champions League this season.
- This was the 3rd Final loss for the legendary goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon ;(
- Cristiano Ronaldo is the only player who has scored in 3 different Champions League Final’s.
- The second goal was 600th career goal for Ronaldo.
- Cristiano Ronaldo’s brace made him leapfrog Lionel Messi in this season’s Champions League scoring table, meaning he has now topped the UCL scoring table 5 seasons on the run.
- Mario Mandzukic’s goal meant that he joins Cristiano Ronaldo as the only 2 players who have scored a goal in the UCL final for 2 different teams (in 2013 he scored for Bayern Munich).
- Juan Cuadrado also set a record, he was the 1st ever substitute to receive a red card in UCL Final.
Now would be a good time to get your own football jersey, of the team you root for. For example the purple away jersey which Real Madrid wore in Cardiff, maybe even with the Club World Cup patch. Wide range of selections, of all size’s with a print of any player or a name of your choosing. Official Jersey’s and replica’s available for most teams, also for some teams there are vintage editions available.
That’s it for the Champions League Final review, what a match. Real Madrid reign supreme. As does Cristiano Ronaldo. As for Juventus, they played a magnificent campaign. This time it wasnt enough, the meltdown in the 2nd half will continue to puzzle people for a long time, myself included. European Football goes into slumber right now, it’s going to be a long 2 months… Although, there is light at the end of the tunnel, FIFA Confederations cup will be played in Russia in few weeks time. It is the Pre-World Cup tournament between the continental champions and the host country. Meaning Germany, Portugal, Mexico, Chile, Cameroon, Australia, New Zealand and Russia will participate. There are few interesting matches such as Germany vs Chile, and eventually probably Portugal vs Germany/Chile. I will post a preview of the tournament and matches when its little bit closer. Until then, enjoy of your “Holiday”!