Cristiano Ronaldo bags brace as Real Madrid clinch Champions League

Cristiano Ronaldo bags brace as Real Madrid clinch Champions League

Cristiano Ronaldo's brace helped Real Madrid retain the Champions League in surprisingly comprehensive fashion, wrapping up a historic 12th continental crown by overcoming Juventus 4-1 in a memorable Cardiff showdown.

James and Lucas Vazquez were the most surprising omissions made by the Frenchman, who had the likes of Marcos Asensio, Gareth Bale and Alvaro Morata as his attacking options on the sidelines. They came away as losers for the seventh time in nine European Cup finals having also lost to Barcelona in 2015. "He believed in us, and in the second half we showed that we were better". He has opted to start Raphael Varane (Centre-Back) and Daniel Carvajal (Right-Back) in the line-up and whether those two last the full 90 or possibly, 120 minutes, considering they are returning from injury, remains to be seen.

Ronaldo extended the lead in less than four minutes while Marco Asensio sealed the victory for the European champions with a last minute goal.

Ronaldo's run to the top of the scoring charts is particularly impressive when one considers he had only two goals to his name entering the quarter-finals.

Madrid had a lot to thank Keylor Navas for in the opening minutes.

Massimiliano Allegri is set to take on ex-Juve legend Zinedine Zidane.

The Juventus fans in the 72,000 crowd erupted, ramping up the atmosphere that was already crackling under the closed stadium roof.

Luka Modric had a 25-yard effort caught by Gianluigi Buffon and Marcelo narrowly failed to pick out Ronaldo with a cross from the left before Casemiro put Madrid ahead in the 61st minute.

"I already admired him as a player", Ronaldo said, "and now I admire him even more as a coach because he's a very positive person - a hard worker and very respectful towards the players".

"People don't have words to criticize", Ronaldo said, "because the numbers don't lie". The Italian goalkeepers has done an incredible season and if finally Juventus win the trophy they will have achieved all the possible titles they can achieve in this season. We'll enjoy this moment now. He later added the third team goal of the game to essentially close it out.