Cristiano Ronaldo was the hero as his winning penalty secured Real Madrid’s victory over Atletico Madrid in Saturday’s Champions League final.
The Portuguese star didn’t enjoy the greatest game but still managed to hog the headlines after blasting home Madrid’s fifth penalty following Juanfran’s miss.
Ronaldo celebrated his winning spot kick as only he would, ripping off his shirt and shouting “Siiiii!” down the camera.
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But where there was pleasure, there was pain. For Atleti, it was a second Champions League final defeat to Los Blancos in three years and a cruel end to a season that could have ended in double glory.
Antoine Griezmann, like Juanfran, probably felt a tinge of regret following the game. The Frenchman missed a penalty early in the second half and, though there’s no telling how the game would have panned out had Griezmann scored, Diego Simeone’s side certainly would have had a greater chance of winning in 90 minutes rather than waiting until the 79th minute to equalise.
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A player of Griezmann’s talent certainly should be able to boast more than just the Spanish Super Cup, Segunda Division title and European Under-19 Championship as his list of accomplishments.
And that probably explains the 25-year-old’s reaction after the game. Griezmann looked close to tears as he trudged off the pitch.
Thankfully, Ronaldo was around to comfort him. The 31-year-old broke away from Real Madrid’s guard of honour to offer a consoling word in Griezmann’s ear.
Check out the video below.
It’s for acts like this - and his decision to pose for photos with handicapped fans after listing the trophy - that Ronaldo is slowly but surely improving his reputation from egotistical to kindhearted.
The arrogance will always remain but nobody can argue that Ronaldo isn’t a caring person.
Griezmann seemingly quashed rumours linking him with a move away from the Vicente Calderon by declaring that his objective is to get back to the big game with Atletico Madrid.
“Hopefully we can get to the final again, that's the objective,” he reflected, per UEFA’s official website. “We want to carry on enjoying these moments. This was a good chance, but we couldn't do it and we need to carry on working. The dressing room is hurt, tired. We are trying not to think about it but the defeat hurts.”
Griezmann made up for his earlier penalty miss by scoring in the shootout but Juanfran scuffed his effort against the post, allowing Ronaldo to clinch Real’s 11th European title.
“At the end of the day penalties are a lottery, and this time it went Madrid's way,” Griezmann continued. “We played a great game. It was such a shame I missed the penalty in the 90 minutes, but that's the way it goes. You need to learn from these things and come back stronger."