Real Madrid celebrates 12th European Cup with fans in Spain

Laura Christensen
June 19, 2017

"I will try to make the next World Cup and then it may be time to close the door".

The highest-scoring Champions League game this season took place between Germany's Borussia Dortmund and Poland's Legia Warsaw on November 22.

Cristiano Ronaldo understandably took the accolades as his two goals helped to fire Real Madrid to a 12th European Cup but fundamental to their triumph over Juventus on Saturday was midfielder Luka Modric.

Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri said his team played "beautifully" in the first half, but admitted his opponents "pressed the accelerator" in the second half.

Strict security measures were visible across the city in light of recent terror attacks in London and Manchester.

The Welsh capital's streets were a river of humanity throughout the day as up to 170,000 people - nearly half the city's population - helped create an astonishing atmosphere.

It is the second time Juve have finished runners-up in the space of three seasons, with Barcelona having beaten them 3-1 in 2015, while they now hold an unenviable record of having lost their last five Champions League finals.

What evolved, however, was a brilliantly attractive, inventive game, adorned by a sublime first-half goal.

Former Real striker Gonzalo Higuain followed an early header and long-range strike that surprised Keylor Navas, with the goalkeeper soon producing a one-handed save as stunning as Miralem Pjanic's volleyed effort.

"You need a guy to score the goals and he did it again", said the Germany global.

Juventus responded quickly by piling on the pressure.

But the second half belonged to Real.

A well timed finish from Casemiro gave Real Madrid the lead in the 60th minute of the game.

His career goal tally in club and global soccer now stands at 600.

Zinedine Zidane favoured in-form Isco for a final that Bale entered as a 77th-minute substitute, making a timely return from a calf injury as Real Madrid overcame Juventus in surprisingly comprehensive fashion.

"I think people don't have words to criticise because the numbers don't lie, you know?"

Substitute Juan Cuadrado took his second yellow card in the 83rd minute to complete a sending off.

"I speak already a few times about that".

Buffon has now tasted defeat in three finals with Juve - in 2003, 2015 and 2017 - and he has yet to get his hands on European club football's biggest prize in his storied career.

But the brilliant goalkeeper, who would have become the competition's oldest victor had his team won, could do little about Real's goals.

"I can not explain why we played like we did in the second half".

Of course, Real's win was about much more than the contribution of their Portugal forward.

"(Madrid) showed their class and the attitude needed to play in this kind of game", Buffon said after losing a third final.

Other reports by TheDigitalNewspaper

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