How To The Win Champion League

How To The Win Champion League

Their players having swapped their purple shirts for white ones, Real Madrid’s players are presented with their medals. Sergio Ramos is presented with the trophy, walks to the very front of the podium where he’s surrounded by his team-mates and hoists it skywards. Real Madrid are champions of Europe for the time in their own history. Marcelo set Asensio up in their fourth goal in the last minute to sweep and Zidane joined José Mourinho, Sir Alex Ferguson, Pep Guardiola and Brian Clough among others on the list of managers who’ve won the European Cup. In Brazil, they’ve not rushed to embrace the pair. Should they attack, it’s because their managers want them to, for the reason that they’re good at it. They’re following orders, not breaking them. They’ve played at the most, over games between them. Yet the second half was a dreadful ordeal for the team from Turin and all those supporters who’d held up thousands of white and black cards before kick-off to spell: The Time is Now. Yes, Juve were unfortunate, in the extreme, with all the deflected goal from Casemiro that gave a lead to Madrid just following the hour. From that point onwards it was staggering to see a team. Some people wanted to strangle him, Massimiliano Allegri said with a smile, but that they wanted to hug him. The story goes that when Juventus were arrived at by Dani Alves, Gigi Buffon asked him to teach them just how to win the Champions League and took him to one side. He mightn’t be able to do that exactly delivering the pass for the first goal, but Allegri was speaking after Alves had taken them to Cardiff and volleying home the second in Monaco. He’d provided two assists in the first leg of the semi-final in Turin, one having a backheel that was superb. Juventus were in the final when Alves was on the other team two years after they lost to Barcelona in Berlin. Mario Mandzukic’s goal was the paradox of the night. Has there ever been a better goal in a European final? Himself is on the all-time list because of his spearing volley against Bayer Leverkusen at Hampden Park.

It ended, as it does, with that smile that was familiar. Cristiano Ronaldo gelled hair, dazzling teeth, magic in his boots will never forget the night he scored the goal of an implausible career. Cardiff will fit with Lisbon and Milan whereas, for Juventus, this was a familiar story of regret and hurt. This season Marcelo has been arguably Madrid’s best player. Through Alves everything went at Sevilla. At Barcelona he provided more assists than anyone after Messi, in Spain. At Juventus, he’s created more chances than anyone in the Champions League. Did you see him? After he performed so against Monaco asked a beaming Allegri. Did you see his assists? That’s what a central playmaker does. It’s similar to what Marcelo does. Jorge Valdano says: He brings out the ball with outstanding naturalness and ease; he goes through the middle of the pitch like it was his own home and, he’s the solutions a forward has when he gets to the very top of the pitch. His crime: not committing the foul which may have prevented Lionel Messi from winning it. Five days before that, he’d broken Bayern Munich, in the 109th minute of the Champions League quarter-final, weaving Ronaldo open goal to to a hurdling challenges and leaving through,

Juventus bossed the first half despite going a goal behind in a entertaining first half and came roaring out of the traps. The next half could have been more different, with all the Italian side outplayed in a niggly affair in every area of the pitch. Many Juventus players disapperaed into their shells: Pjanic, Dybala, Mandzukic and Higuain might have come out of for the second half, but all left their mojos in the dressing room. Ultimately, though, the greater significance was carried by the more prosaic goals in this contest. Madrid have managed only one clean sheet on their way to winning this competition. Yet there’s another statistic about Zidane’s team and also the player, more than anyone, who carries the team’s dreams. They arrived with the best goals record of any side in the competition from ties in Cardiff and Ronaldo, being Ronaldo lets a big game pass him by without making some kind of contribution. Another goal for Real! Marco Asensio fires from about yards after getting on the end of a pull-back from Marcelo after getting in behind the Juventus defence. Well, not quite. sbobet casino

He’d found it difficult to get much of the ball in the vicinity of the Juve penalty area to begin with. However he also had periods in the other finals when he drifted to the edges. This one reached its minute before pulling back his right boot to take aim, and he came alive, exchanging passes with the overlapping Dani Carvajal. His shot directed towards the bottom corner was low, and skimmed off Bonucci to elude Gianluigi Buffon.

As it happened, real Madrid retain Champions League after win over Juventus. It was a full-on collapse and, by the end, the players in white and black stripes looked in need of smelling salts. Over the years it’s not been hard to find their critics, but seek them among their own and it’s a different matter some will admit these are men who are able to take a bit of getting used to. They can’t defend, detractors say, but that line is as facile as it’s flawed. It feels as though it goes beyond football: the accusation deepens, as if the sport must be a deadly serious business, as if enjoying it means you’re not committed, when they are, should you dare to smile, as they do. The truth is that Juve, never recovered from that moment and having conceded only three goals chose to lose their defensive organisation. Every squad needs personalities contagious is the word fun doesn’t equal frivolous and Zinedine Zidane uses to describe Marcelo; you don’t play for a decade at Madrid and also eight years at Barcelona without dedication. You are not signed by Juventus and you are not declined without by Barcelona; they were wrong if they thought they’d not miss Alves. People automatically think that because you attack, you can’t defend. Alves said, not true. That was but it might have been yesterday. He’s not changed; it’s some recognising his contribution late, others who’ve, a process that finds parallels with Marcelo.


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