Real Madrid win Champions League in penalty shootout

first_img Long-time leaders MILAN (AP): Cristiano Ronaldo did it again for Real Madrid, stepping forward to score a penalty and inflicting another devastating loss in a Champions League final on rivals Atletico Madrid. For the second time in three years, the biggest game in club soccer ended with Ronaldo sealing victory then ripping off his shirt to show off his muscled torso for adoring fans. Yesterday, Ronaldo’s decisive spot kick in a shoot-out gave Real Madrid a 5-3 victory on penalties, following a 1-1 draw after extra time. Two years ago, the Portuguese superstar’s penalty had sealed a 4-1 extra-time win over Atletico and prompted the first of his provocative celebrations. “I knew I was going to score the winning penalty. I was confident,” said Ronaldo, who won his third Champions League title. “I asked (coach Zinedine) Zidane to let me take the last penalty,” he confirmed Rising to the dramatic moment after a quiet game, by his standards, Ronaldo sent Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak the wrong way seconds after Atletico defender Juanfran struck a post with his team’s fourth kick. Real Madrid’s record-extending 11th European title also denied their city rivals the most coveted trophy in club soccer for the second time in three years. Atletico were left with bitter memories of their third loss in a European Cup or Champions League final. In their two previous finals, Atletico gave up last-minute equalising goals. Zidane became just the seventh man to both coach and play for European champion teams. Appointed only in January, after Rafa Benitez was fired, Zidane already joins an elite group that includes Johan Cruyff and Pep Guardiola. Just like the 2014 final, a Madrid derby finished 1-1 after 90 minutes. This time, it was Real Madrid instead of Atletico in the role of long-time leaders giving up a late equaliser. Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos, who struck in stoppage time two years ago, showed a forward’s hunger to score in the 15th by forcing the ball past Oblak from close range. Atletico substitute Yannick Carrasco showed the same desire to level in the 79th, outmuscling Lucas Vazquez to shoot Juanfran’s pass across goal high into the net. Atletico missed a penalty kick in the 48th, given for Pepe’s clumsy tackle through Fernando Torres. Antoine Griezmann’s kick struck the crossbar, repeating his failure to beat goalkeeper Keylor Navas from the spot in a league match this season. The France forward scored in the shoot-out.last_img read more