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Real Madrid takes 10th European title, stunning Atletico in Champions League final
Question of the Day
LISBON, Portugal — Real Madrid broke down Atletico Madrid’s resistance in extra time to win the Champions League final 4-1 on Saturday and finally deliver the club’s record 10th European title.
Real struck three times in the second period of extra time, through Gareth Bale’s header in the 110th minute, Marcelo’s shot in the 118th and Cristiano Ronaldo’s penalty at the end.
It was an unfairly lopsided score after Atletico was on the brink of victory in regulation time, before Sergio Ramos headed in an equalizer for Real in the third minute of stoppage time.
Diego Godin had put Atletico ahead when his 36th-minute header looped into a Real goal left vacant by captain and veteran goalkeeper Iker Casillas’ reckless rush out.
Atletico — which had to substitute striker Diego Costa early in the first half — then simply wore out in extra time as the team failed to follow up on the Spanish league title it secured last weekend.
Had Atletico held on for its first European title, Ronaldo and Bale would have shared the blame for a series of missed chances in the 90 minutes.
Instead, the star forwards — both signed for world-record transfer fees — added to their storied club’s illustrious history in club football’s most prestigious competition.
“I’ve learned from past experiences to keep going, to forget about the chances you miss and keep persevering,” Bale said. “The celebrations of the crowd meant everything to me.”
Real coach Carlo Ancelotti also ties the record with three European Cup victories as a coach, after winning in 2003 and ‘07 with AC Milan. The Italian becomes the fifth coach to win with two different clubs.
“The hardest thing was to tie the game because it was so tough for us at that point,” Ancelotti said. “They suffocated the space and were doing it so well. The goal gave us strength.”
Casillas also won his third Champions League title, being the only player remaining from the club’s previous 2000 and ‘02 victories.
After Ramos’ goal made up for his own mistake, Casillas ran deep into Atletico’s half to share a long celebratory hug with Marcelo.
Bale’s decisive goal sparked wilder celebrations, while Ronaldo pulled off his shirt before provoking tempers with a muscle-flexing pose after scoring his penalty — extending his record for a Champions League season to 17 goals.
Atletico coach Diego Simeone — known for his fiery temper — came on the pitch for a second time in extra time in the final minutes and confronted Real defender Raphael Varane. He had to be restrained by his own staff and was sent to the stands.
For pulling off his shirt, Ronaldo earned one of 12 yellow cards shown by referee Bjorn Kuipers of the Netherlands in an often physical match.
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