Cristiano Ronaldo has won his fifth Ballon d’Or. His finest night of the year came when Real Madrid thrashed Juventus in the Champions League final. Omnisport’s Matthew Scott was there to tell the tale.
The greatest Champions League final victory of the modern era could only ever have had Cristiano Ronaldo sitting on the throne as its master.
As Real Madrid and Juventus were finalising plans for their Cardiff showdown, it was speculated here that the iconic Ronaldo might be missing a final to call his own - despite all those he has won. Safe to say we may ponder no more.
This truly was the 'Ronaldo Final'.
What a stage to do it, too. A Ronaldo-inspired Los Blancos became the first team in the Champions League era to win back-to-back finals with a 4-1 success that further cemented their standing as this competition's epochal outfit.
Billed pre-match as the Portuguese taking on Gianluigi Buffon and his steely enforcers - that other great 'BBC' of these times: Barzagli, Bonucci and Chiellini - Ronaldo laid waste to Juventus' previously unbreachable back line.
The three goals Juventus had conceded en route to the final had all come via set-pieces, but Ronaldo carved them up from open play in the 20th minute, flipping wide for Dani Carvajal and steering the right-back's return pass beyond the grasp of Buffon - a fragment of time that could come to crystallise the great goalkeeper's failure to land the biggest of European kahunas.
The strike was Madrid's 500th in the Champions League - Ronaldo's next was the 600th of his career and took him beyond great rival Lionel Messi as top scorer in this season's competition.
Numbers may well come to define Ronaldo's career, but this was sheer showmanship. The ability to pick the right moment on an enormous stage and turn the world's spotlight onto himself.
If he did lack the 'Ronaldo Final' - what a time to get one…
For the first time since 2009 - Manchester United the holders, Barcelona becoming THAT team - the showpiece event in club football was played by two sides with genuine claims to being Europe's premier performers.
And though Ronaldo walks away with this and most of the other headlines, Juventus were spectacular combatants for the most part and Mario Mandzukic's goal is one that will go down in eternity.
Zinedine Zidane's great volley at Hampden Park is generally regarded as the Champions League's best final strike.
It is a debate that could rage until the end of time, maybe it will, but Mandzukic's overhead kick, following a touch up in the air and with defenders at his back is the kind of effort that dreams are made of. It was utterly deserved at the time with Massimiliano Allegri's deployment stifling Madrid for the most part.
So it was a shame that the game ran away so much from Juventus.
600 - Cristiano Ronaldo has scored his 600th goal in his professional career (club and country). Amazing. pic.twitter.com/HpKHys1PDW— OptaJose (@OptaJose) June 3, 2017
With Ronaldo still basking in his second and Madrid's third goal, Juan Cuadrado was sent off for a pair of quickfire bookings and Marco Asensio scored late on to give the scoreline a dominant slant that few had seen in the build-up.
It could be a quirk in the future that Asensio's star began to rise in this moment that Ronaldo's rose to its highest point.
But, regardless of what is to come, Juventus 1 Real Madrid 4 - forever the 'Ronaldo Final'.
|Puel focuses on Leicester win, not Southampton revenge|
|Strasbourg 2 Paris Saint-Germain 4: Revenge is sweet for Emery´s men|
|Tottenham 2 Brighton and Hove Albion 0: Aurier scores a fluke as Spurs go fourth|
|West Ham 0 Arsenal 0: Wasteful Gunners drop points for third game in a row|
|Liverpool 0 West Brom 0: More frustration for Klopp as hosts draw again|
|Manchester United 1 Bournemouth 0: Lukaku eases scoring concerns after derby day woes|
|AC Milan 3 Verona 0: Bonaventura shines as Gattuso´s side march on|
|Manchester City set new Premier League winning streak|
|Newcastle United 0 Everton 1: Rooney haunts Magpies again|
|Swansea City 0 Manchester City 4: Silva sparkles as Guardiola´s record-breakers march on|
|Southampton 1 Leicester City 4: Puel serves up Saints revenge|
|Bayern Munich 1 Cologne 0: Lewandowski opens nine-point gap in Bundesliga|
|Finn: There was ´way more´ going out during England´s 2010-11 Ashes tour|
|Jaguars formula the key to playoff success for Wentz-less Eagles|
|Mourinho slams Manchester derby penalty decision in programme notes|
|This is my last season at Monaco – Fabinho|
|Bale: Football would be better without VAR|
|Thought Mayweather v McGregor was 2017´s biggest sporting event? Think again!|
|Manchester United´s Gomes pens professional contract|
|Al Jazira 1 Real Madrid 2: Bale spares Spanish blushes at Club World Cup|
|Ronaldo takes goalscoring record from Messi|
|Al Jazira stun Real Madrid to take half-time lead in Club World Cup|
|Neymar returns to PSG after break|
|I just went through my routine – Rohit delighted with latest double hundred|
|Vuelta organiser hopes for quick resolution to Froome investigation|
|Iniesta would welcome Barca pursuit of Coutinho|
|FA extends deadline for Manchester clubs to respond over alleged derby fracas|
|Wigan Warriors confirm Sarginson return|
|Magnificent Rohit doubles up as India hammer Sri Lanka|
|Dybala clever enough to listen to Nedved - Buffon|
|Willian not ready to walk out on Chelsea|
|Arsenal striker Lacazette not counting on title miracle|
|Fury licence to be considered by BBBofC in January|
|Sarginson released by Titans|
|World Cup glory worth €350,000 to Germany stars|
|All Blacks skipper Read to undergo back surgery|
|I live day by day - Buffon ponders Euro 2020|
|Remarkable Rohit smashes third ODI double-century|
|West Ham eyeing Wilshere swoop in January|
|Bairstow up to six in unchanged England team|
|Klopp reveals hamstring scare for Liverpool star Salah|
|England can still win Ashes as Hoggard urges Root´s men to smarten up|
|Vuelta champion Froome asked to explain drugs test|
|FFA refuses to speculate on Scolari amid Socceroos interest|
|Mavs spoil Leonard´s season debut, LeBron enjoys career-high night|
|Ronaldo hoping to play with Benzema and Bale again|
|Smith: Pitch conditions in Perth to determine Handscomb fate|
|Packers star Rodgers cleared to return against Panthers|
|Mourinho takes aim at reporters as Man United boss leaves news conference|
|You can put the kickoff back at the 30 – Hester announces retirement|
|Roberts confirms Dodgers were ´very in tune´ with Stanton, Ohtani|
|Fleury set for Golden Knights return after two months in concussion protocol|
|Dodgers All-Star Seager set to avoid elbow surgery|
|´Bull****´ to suggest Chelsea can catch Man City – Conte|
|Pordenone would´ve deserved Coppa Italia progression, admits Spalletti|
|Azarenka granted wildcard for Australian Open|
|Root urges England to stand up and put things right|
|Man City haven´t won anything yet – Gundogan|
|Pierre leads Dinamo Sassari past Pinar Karsiyaka|
|Willian: Chelsea will keep fighting for Premier League title|
|Burnley aren´t the real deal – Dyche|
|Stoger wants to bring best out of BVB after breakthrough victory|
|Conte praises contribution of Hazard, Willian and Pedro|
|Inter 0 Pordenone 0 (AET, 5-4 on penalties): Nagatomo spares Serie A leaders´ blushes|
|Hodgson keeping Palace grounded despite dramatic late win|
|Zouma injury led to Turf Moor defeat – Hughes|
|Guardiola steers carefully around Mourinho criticism after United v City flashpoint|
|Guardiola considering January signings to bolster Manchester City squad|
|Get me in the mix – Ricciardo wants to join Vettel, Hamilton rivalry|
|Crystal Palace 2 Watford 1: Sako, McArthur stun Hornets|