Modric ran the show in CL final in Cardiff

June 4, 2017

 Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric was outstanding in the Champions League final

Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric was outstanding in the Champions League final

 Midfielder Modric was always available and rarely gave the ball away in the final

Midfielder Modric was always available and rarely gave the ball away in the final
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 in a memorable Cardiff showdown.

The long, arduous journey to European glory culminated under the roof in Wales, where Zinedine Zidane’s men showed their killer instinct to win the title for the third time in four seasons.

Juventus started the brighter and Mario Mandzukic’s overhead kick will live long in the memory, but Ronaldo’s brace along with efforts from Casemiro and Marco Asensio left Real celebrating a surprisingly comfortable 4-1 win.


Gianluigi Buffon

The 39-year-old conceded only three goals en-route to the final, but four tonight, and he looked slow to get down to Casmiro’s deflected effort. Looks to have ended long career without a winners’ medal: 6

Andrea Barzagli

At 36, the oldest of Juve and Italy’s famed back three, ‘The Rock’ was not as solid as usual. Withdrawn for Cuadrado after 67 minutes: 6

Leonardo Bonucci

Linjured early in the second half and then caught napping when Cristiano Ronaldo nipped in for his second goal: 6

Giorgio Chiellini

Regarded as the hardest man in world football to get past, Chiellini played with his usual tenacity but could not hold back Madrid’s tidal wave: 6

Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon had conceded just three times en-route to the final

Dani Alves

The former Barca full-back is now 34 and looks it. No longer the threat of old going forward and caught in possession too often: 6

Alex Sandro

The Brazilian wing-back got forward powerfully and his volleyed pass led to Mandzukic’s equaliser. Header just wide in the closing stages: 7

Miralem Pjanic

The Bosnian playmaker is nicknamed ‘The Piano Player’ but was off-key for most of the game. A couple of powerful shots early on, but subbed on 70 minutes: 6

Sami Khedira

Won the Champions League with Real Madrid in 2014, the German midfielder never looked like repeating that with Juve. Quiet game: 6

Juventus defender Dani Alves could not repeat his dominant displays in earlier rounds

Mario Mandzukic

Sensational goal, a world-class strike. The Croatian had a running battle with Carvajal, who was booked for one foul too many: 7

Paulo Dybala

The Argentinian playing as a number ten was an early threat with his running at defenders and close dribbling, but was withdrawn after 78 minutes: 7

Gonzalo Higuain

Up against his former side, the Argentinian assisted Mandzukic for his goal and a header and shot saved in the early stages, but otherwise quiet: 6

Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain was subdued against his former club in Cardiff


Juan Cuadrado

Colombian winger on a three-year loan from Chelsea was sent off for two yellow cards, in the space of 10 minutes: 5

Claudio Marchisio 

Italy midfielder back from a knee injury, went on for Pjanic but was unable to make a difference. 6

Mario Lemina

The Gabon forward, in his first season with Juve, barely threatened after going on for Dybala in the 78th minute: 5

Subs not used:

Kwadwo Asamoah, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Neto, Medhi Banatia


Max Allegri:

Sent out his strongest team and they held their own for an hour, but outclassed after that. His substitutions did not make an impact: 6

Real Madrid:

Keylor Navas

The Costa Rican made important early saves from Higuain and also Pjanic, but was too far off his line for Mandzukic’s goal. Nothing to deal with later: 7

Dani Carvajal

The Spanish right-back had a running battle with Mandzukic and was eventually booked before half-time for one foul too many on the Croatian. Assist for Ronaldo’s goal: 6

Raphael Varane

The French centre-back, a winner last season, looked assured on the ball and kept Higuain at bay after a lively start: 7

Sergio Ramos

Booked after half-an-hour for a foul on Alves, having clattered Dybala earlier. Looked more and more assured as the game went on: 7

Juventus midfielder Juan Cuadrado was sent off following a clash with defender Sergio Ramos


Nothing like his storming display against Bayern Munich in the Quarter-final, and looked unsure defensively at first, but got forward more and set up Asensio’s goal: 7


The Brazilian doesn’t score many goals, but set Madrid on their way with a sensational 35-yard strike to break the deadlock. Strong and imposing in midfield: 7

Toni Kroos

The German failed to impose himself initially, but gradually helped Modric take control of midfield as Juve faded. Replaced by Morata in closing stages: 7

Luka Modric

The former Spurs midfielder was outstanding again, running the game from midfield, setting up Ronaldo’s second goal. Always available, rarely gave the ball away: 9

Cristiano Ronaldo had a relatively quiet game yet scored twice and won another major trophy

Cristiano Ronaldo had a relatively quiet game yet scored twice and won another major trophy


Kept his place deservedly ahead of Bale in a number ten role, and looked lively throughout. Withdrawn for Asensio in closing stages: 8

Cristiano Ronaldo

A relatively quiet game yet he scored twice and has won another major trophy. Two well-taken goals, missed a couple too. Sponsors’ man of the match: 8

Karim Benzema

Rarely threatened to score but his link-up play and work off the ball allowed others to shine. Replaced by Bale in the 77th minute: 7


Gareth Bale

Not fit enough to start, but got a huge roar when the Welshman came on for Benzema in the final 13 minutes, achieving a dream result in his hometown: 7

Marco Asensio

Replaced Isco with nine minutes to go and scored the fourth goal, drilling in Marcelo’s cross from close range in the last minute of normal time: 8

Alvaro Morata

Went on as sub Toni Kroos in the 88th minute, so little time to make any impact: 7


Zinedine Zidane:

Sensibly resisted the temptation to start Bale after six weeks out with injury. Has now won the Champions League two years running – incredible to think his position was under threat earlier this season: 9


Felix Brych

Had a lot of work to keep order, especially as it got feisty in the second half, and produced a rash of yellow cards including two – and a red – for Juan Cuadrado: 7


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *