June 3, 2017 will forever go down as a historic moment in the international soccer world. Real Madrid captured their 12th Champions League title and became the first team (since its modern expansion) to retain the Champions League. However, Juventus gave Real Madrid a run for their money as the match was full of non-stop action and incredible plays. To relive the excitement, we highlight the key stars that made this match one to remember.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid Forward
Not only did Cristiano Ronaldo score two goals during the match, but he also became the first player to score in three Champion League Finals and the third player to appear in four Champions League Final victories. On top of that, he was the leading goalscorer for the fifth straight year in the competition, while he also netted his 600th career goal for club and country. With Ronaldo breaking records left and right, to say that he is in a league of his own is nothing but an understatement. One can only assume he’ll be breaking a couple more records as his career moves forward.
2. Mario Mandzukic, Juventus Forward
If there’s one play during the course of the Final that heightened the excitement and energy in Principality Stadium, it is none other that Mario Madzukic’s wonder strike. With a touch off his chest and back to the goal, Madzukic scored with a strike so well-executed, no one watching could argue otherwise. With Juventus’ only goal of the match, Mandzukic becomes the 3rd player to score in either a European Cup or Champion League final for two different teams.
— Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) June 3, 2017
3. Casemiro, Real Madrid Defensive Midfielder
Casemiro represents one of Real Madrid’s most important players defensively due to his tackling ability and toughness. His defense in the match deserves praise, though it was his goal that gave Real Madrid the lead for good. It was this goal that created an unstoppable run for Madrid during the second half and led to their victory. The tally now marks Casemiro as the sixth Brazilian to score in the CL Finals.
4. Gianluigi Buffon, Juventus Goalkeeper
Gianluigi Buffon put up a great fight against Real Madrid, but it is his character off the field that makes him a star of the game. In a post-game interview, Buffon said, “Real Madrid deserved to win in the 2nd half. They showed their class and the attitude needed to play in this kind of game.” In making this statement, Buffon showed the amount of respect he has for both the Real Madrid players and for the outcome of the game, making him an all-around class act. At 39 years old, Buffon plans to retire in 2018, but not before getting one more shot at the Champions League title.
5. Marco Asensio, Real Madrid Attacking Midfielder
At just 21 years old, Marco Asensio is already proving he’s a guy all players are going to want to keep their eyes on. His goal during the second half of the Champion League Final solidified the win for Real Madrid and showcased his power as an up and coming threat in professional soccer. Asensio is still very young in his career, but there seems to be a lot to look forward to when it comes to the future of Real Madrid.
Written by Athlete CRUSH Staff Member, Lauren Marhefka
Posted 6 June 2017