Gareth Bale and Real Madrid came out on top as Cardiff and Wales delivered and witnessed a thrilling UEFA Champions League Final.
JUVENTUS 1-4 REAL MADRID
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL
- Saturday, 3 June 2017
- National Stadium of Wales, Cardiff
Real Madrid have won an incredible 12th Champions League trophy and are the first team to retain the title.
Bale came into the action during the 77th minute when he replaced Karim Benzema.
Speaking after Madrid’s historic victory, Bale said: “To win this at home is a great feeling. I’ve worked hard to get fit, this is my reward.”
The National Stadium of Wales proved itself to be an incredible stage for what was the biggest sporting event in the World in 2017 as Juventus and Real Madrid went all out for the famous silverware.
Juventus started the game confidently and created the best chances early on. After just 4 minutes Gonzalo Higuaín forced Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas into making a save and shortly after Miralem Pjanić went even closer to giving Juventus the lead. However, Navas pulled off a superb one-handed save after diving to his right.
Real Madrid fought back and they found themselves in the lead after 20 mintues of play when Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player to score in three UEFA Champions League finals.
A sharp counterattack down the right saw Dani Carvajal cross into the box and away from the grasp of Gianluigi Buffon and when Ronaldo met the ball it was 1-0.
The lead lasted 7 minutes before Mario Mandžukić saw the ball break to him in just inside the box and with his back to goal, an acrobatic overhead kick beat Navas.
Real Madrid were superb in the second half however, and when they regained the lead in the 61st minute, a 12th Champions League title never looked in doubt.
After Toni Kroos saw his shot blocked, the ball came to Casemiro approximately 32-yards out from goal. His powerful effort struck Sami Khedira to deflect the ball past Buffon.
Real Madrid scored a third goal quickly after when Luka Modrić won possession in midfield before passing to Carvajal who delivered a cross to Ronaldo. The Portuguese superstar made no mistake with his effort and gave Madrid a 3-1 lead.
After Juventus were reduced to 10-men following the sending off of Juan Cuadrado for a second-bookable offence, Real Madrid made it 4-1 in the final minute of the match.
Having been awarded a free kick deep inside the Juventus half of the pitch, Ronaldo saw his strike blocked. As the ball found its way to Marcelo, the Brazilian left-back cut across the byline and passed the ball back to Marco Asensio, who scored with ease.
The quality of the UEFA Champions League final was a fitting tribute to the successful hosting of the competition.
Despite being the smallest city to have ever hosted the UEFA Champions League, it has been an incredible success for Cardiff and Wales.