Cristiano Ronaldo was feeling as confident as ever in the build-up to his first Champions League final with Real Madrid in the city where he began his professional career, Lisbon, Portugal. He demonstrated this by giving the television camera a trademark wink as it panned to him at the end of the pre-match lineup. It was a wink that said everything would be alright for Real Madrid...and it very nearly wasn't.
The match would prove to be an exhausting struggle worthy of the first Champions League final featuring two rivals from the same city, but Real Madrid came from behind and redeemed their own mistakes by beating Atletico Madrid 4-1 in extra time. After Iker Casillas was caught out by Atletico's goal in the 36th minute and Gareth Bale missed golden chance after golden chance, it seemed like Atletico's dream season in which they had already won La Liga would be completed with their first Champions League title. They defended valiantly throughout the match and were mere minutes away from completing the miracle double.
But Sergio Ramos' equalizer deep into injury time kept Real Madrid alive and gave them the momentum going into extra time. Gareth bale then scored his second dramatic cup winner of this season (see his Copa del Rey winner here) with a header in the 110th minute.
Marcelona followed that with a third goal and, finally, Cristiano Ronaldo finished it off from the penalty spot — extending his record for Champions League goals in a single season to 17 — before celebrating by whipping off his shirt and flexing like a more excitable Mario Balotelli.
After the match, Ronaldo winked at the camera again as if to say, "I told ya so."
This marks Real Madrid's record 10th European Cup after a 12-year wait since the last one. It's also the third of manager Carlo Ancelotti's career, matching legendary Liverpool manager Bob Paisley record.
A group of his players brought the celebration into his press conference...
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- Sports & Recreation
- Real Madrid
- Cristiano Ronaldo
- Atletico Madrid
- Gareth Bale