Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t exactly set the 2016 Champions League final alight, but it was the Real Madrid superstar who scored the all-important winning penalty in the shootout.
Never one to shy away from the limelight, Ronaldo celebrated by ripping off his shirt and throwing it into the air before falling to the floor and allowing his ecstatic teammates to jump all over him.
Would Ronaldo have taken that particular penalty had Juanfran not missed for Atletico moments earlier? We’ll never know for sure but the man himself insists he asked Zinedine Zidane to take Real Madrid’s fifth spot-kick following “a vision” he experienced before the match.
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"I knew I would [score] and I did,” Ronaldo was quoted as saying by Spanish newspaper AS after the game.
"I had a vision, I saw I'd score the winning goal,” he added. “I asked Zizou to let me take the fifth penalty because I knew I was going to score the winning goal.”
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Ronaldo was poor at the San Siro
Ronaldo would have been acutely aware that scoring the winning penalty in a Champions League final for Real Madrid would significantly increase his chances of winning a fourth Ballon d’Or next January.
This is despite the fact that, by his considerably high standards, he was poor at the San Siro over the course of 120 minutes.
BBC Sport handed Ronaldo a somewhat generous 6/10 rating - the lowest mark in the Real Madrid team along with Dani Carvajal, Pepe and Lucas Vazquez - but there’s no doubt about it: the penalty went a long way to disguising the fact this was an underwhelming individual display from one of the world’s best players.
But he does deserve some credit...
Ronaldo deserves credit for stepping up in the shootout, though, considering he missed a spot-kick against Chelsea for Manchester United in the 2008 Champions League final in Moscow.
However, scoring a penalty in the 2014 Champions League final against Atletico - combined with the fact Juanfran had missed moments earlier - must have eased his nerves in Milan on Saturday evening.
Ronaldo wants to retire at Real Madrid
There were rumours earlier this season that this could be Ronaldo’s final campaign at the Bernabeu, but the 31-year-old revealed last week that he wants to retire with Los Blancos.
"Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City can forget it, I'm retiring at Real Madrid," the forward was quoted as saying by Marca. ”I have had good and bad moments, four years ago I was not happy but there is no better place to be than here."
Will Cristiano Ronaldo win the Ballon d’Or in January? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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