Cristiano Ronaldo was able to look back on “an amazing season – again” having helped Real Madrid to back-to-back UEFA Champions League titles and been voted man of the match after becoming the first player to score in three finals.
The Portuguese star scored the first and third goals of Madrid’s latest triumph in Cardiff – his first goal the club’s 500th in the UEFA Champions League – and was named man of the match by the UEFA technical observers, who chose him “for his clinical and decisive finishing in an impressive Real Madrid team performance”.
” I’ll go as far as I can,” said Ronaldo. “This season has been fantastic again – we’ve won the league and the Champions League. The squad has been great, and it’s been good for me individually too. I prepared myself well for the final part of the season and I scored some important goals.”
Ronaldo was presented with his award by Sir Alex Ferguson, his manager when Manchester United won the 2008 final, who described honouring his former charge as “one of the best jobs I’ve ever had”. Nine years on from that success over Chelsea in Moscow – in which Ronaldo also found the net – he is now 32 but showing few signs of slowing down: ” I’m very happy, I’m motivated and my age is just a number. I feel like a young boy!”
The final margin of victory may have been comfortable, but Ronaldo said: “It was a very even game. Juve played very well in the first half, created some opportunities, but in the second half Real Madrid were very impressive. I think this has been the best second half we’ve had to a season. The Champions League is always hard to win, especially against a team which had let in only three goals so far this season. “
Twelve goals in this continental campaign – including ten in the last five games – make Ronaldo the UEFA Champions League’s top scorer for the fifth year in a row, and helped to add a third European triumph in four seasons to the Merengues’ newly captured Spanish Liga crown. “Again, I had an amazing season,” he laughed. “Me and my team-mates have done the double. The numbers don’t lie. I’m very happy – an amazing season, we’ve won trophies. This is one of the best moments of my career – I have the chance to say this every year!”