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'.
|Scotland unchanged for crucial Calcutta Cup clash|
|Horsing around: Muller takes tips from equine companion|
|Lynn set for further assessment on dislocated shoulder|
|Ronaldo jets off for a break as Madrid head to Leganes|
|Bastareaud back in one of five France changes|
|Mistake to let Kroos leave Bayern for Madrid - Sammer|
|Short´s fifty and Agar´s spin seal deserved Australian tri-series win|
|Spalletti tips Ancelotti for Italy job|
|I can´t wait for retirement - Federer|
|Mendy on course for World Cup, says Deschamps|
|Man Utd on dismal knockout run, Roma have Shakhtar curse - Champions League in Opta numbers|
|Azpilicueta hoping for greater fortune at Camp Nou|
|Out of nothing he can score goals – Heynckes hails Muller|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Giovinco inspires Toronto, Tigres held|
|Steelers LB Shazier says he´s ´best linebacker ever´|
|Ranieri: I´ll quit Nantes if offered Italy job|
|Thiem keeps title defence on track, Monfils saves match point in Rio|
|Barcelona are great even without Neymar – Willian|
|Del Potro, Raonic progress at Delray Beach|
|Dolphins place franchise tag on Landry|
|Colts QB Luck ´extremely optimistic´ about shoulder rehab|
|Conte wants to see out Chelsea contract but has bags packed|
|A´s respond to Gruden´s belittling of Oakland|
|Yankees acquire Drury in three-team deal with Diamondbacks, Rays|
|Messi goal will give Barcelona more space at Camp Nou – Suarez|
|Serena Williams: I almost died|
|Conte defends ´incredible´ Christensen after Barcelona error|
|Bayern taking nothing for granted after 5-0 demolition – Heynckes|
|Valverde: Barcelona away goal not definitive for progression|
|Muller & Robben bemoan poor first half despite Bayern rout|
|Ivashka sets up Wawrinka Marseille meeting|
|Chelsea close to a perfect game against Barcelona - Conte|
|Defending for 90 minutes at Barcelona a ´suicide mission´ - Fabregas|
|Championship Review: Villa miss chance to move into promotion places|
|Messi ends his Chelsea hoodoo|
|Texans release all-time leading tackler Brian Cushing|
|Chelsea 1 Barcelona 1: Messi breaks Blues hoodoo to leave tie in the balance|
|Bayern Munich 5 Besiktas 0: Two-goal Muller inspires emphatic win after Vida red|
|Woods and Stricker appointed USA Ryder Cup vice-captains|
|Wales must attack Sexton and Murray - Gatland|
|De Vrij confirms intention to leave Lazio on free transfer|
|Sanchez move down to Champions League frustration at Arsenal - Mourinho|
|Mourinho suggests Pogba is fit to face Sevilla|
|Clinical Kerber strolls past Strycova in Dubai|
|AFC Champions League Review: Hulk & Oscar lead Shanghai, Jeonbuk Motors hit six|
|Cech expects Ospina to start for Arsenal in EFL Cup final|
|Gueye signs new Everton deal until 2022|
|FA charges Man City and Wigan for failing to control players|
|Aguero faces no action over Wigan fan incident|
|Martin released by Buccaneers|
|Las Palmas get green light to sign Viera replacement amid Nasri talk|
|De Kock, De Villiers & Du Plessis looking to Australia Tests|
|FA issues West Ham with anti-doping charge|
|Florenzi a doubt to face Shakhtar, confirms Roma´s Di Francesco|
|Maybe we ´lock him up or tie him up´ – Montella ponders how to stop Sanchez|
|French rugby crisis could last a long time - Magne|
|Pogba and Ibrahimovic train with Man Utd ahead of Sevilla tie|
|Zidane hints at resting Ronaldo for Real Madrid´s trip to Leganes|
|Biggar, Halfpenny and Williams return to Wales´ starting XV|
|Modric adds to Real Madrid injury worries|
|Braehmer pulls out of Super Series semi-final|
|Wolfsburg turn to Labbadia in fight for Bundesliga survival|
|Hales follows Rashid in signing white-ball deal|
|Wigan to investigate pitch invasion after win over Manchester City|
|Drogba ´couldn´t be more proud´ as son signs for Guingamp|
|Stones making no excuses for shock Wigan defeat|
|Bellugi scathing of Inter form and transfer policy|
|Ringrose could make Six Nations impact after comeback|
|Rakitic: I´ve not seen Messi in the gym this often|
|Winter Olympics 2018: Slovenian ice hockey star Jeglic sent home after positive doping test|