Juan Mata sends message to La Liga champions - Real Madrid

Solenn Plantier
Juin 19, 2017

Defeated in the 2003 and 2015 finals, the 39-year-old admitted in the build-up to the Cardiff showdown he could not let slip this chance to finally get hold of the only major trophy to elude him.

"In Cardiff another legendary Madrid side were enthroned, and not just for their 12th trophy; For their first double in 59 years, and for retaining the European Cup for the first time in 57; For winning three trophies in four years; For not being a galactico Madrid, but a Zidanesque-brotherhood, just in the season when least money was spent, showing that football does not have a price".

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. Now we can enjoy it before we prepare for the Champions League final.' Zinedine Zidane was given the bumps by his jubilant players and he saluted his squad when mobbed by reporters on the final whistle.

He said: "We are disappointed". The second half was better.

Higuaín, other than the assist for Mandzukic's goal, carried little threat, while the influence of Sami Khedira and Miralem Pjanic, who was also substituted in the second half after picking up an injury, started to wane.

Gareth Bale, like Modric a former Tottenham player, had been the focus of the build-up to the game but Modric proved crucial to Madrid's successful defence of the title. With these 12 goals he also has become in the first player to score in three Champions League finals. It is then the first club to do it in the modern version of the Champions League, the third in 4 years. We can't change that and that has been the success of this year.

"Unfortunately, we didn't manage it". Asked beforehand whether this would come down to a contest between himself and Cristiano Ronaldo, the Juventus goalkeeper replied: "I'm not so conceited as to say that, I would never put myself on the same pedestal as Cristiano Ronaldo". Buffon and (Andrea) Barzagli will still be with us next year, and they still have a lot to give us. We've got there with hard work and optimism.

Analysing the match, the Juve coach said that they stood powerless against Real's sizzling attack after the break.

However, Real and Ronaldo weren't to be denied, as further goals from Casemiro, Ronaldo and Marco Asensio meant the final 20 minutes were played out to a carnival atmosphere with chants of "champions" and "viva España".

He had two goals despite just 37 touches of the ball - only Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain had fewer touches among all the outfielders who finished the game.

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