REAL MADRID’S EXTRA-TIME BARRAGE CRUSHES ATLÉTICO
By: Njabulo Ndlovu
It took Real Madrid 120 minutes to claim their tenth UEFA Champions League title dubbed La Décima, as they beat Atlético Madrid by 4-1 on Saturday.
Three extra-time goals from Gareth Bale, Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo ensured that Los Blancos becomes the first club to win Champions League title ten times.
In the extra time, Los Blancos found their rhythm as Bale headed on a free net in the 110th minute after a poor clearance by Thibaut Courtois, who went out to save Angel Di Maria’s effort.
Real found the third goal after Atlético went on attack to find an equalizer, leaving their defence vulnerable. Marcelo – who came in in the second half – fired a low shot to guarantee Real the victory in the 118th minute.
Ronaldo set a record of 17 goals after he converted from the spot in the 121st minute.
Real Madrid president, Florentino Pérez praised the players and thanked the fans.
“This is a win for the players and for the fans, who have managed to grow Real Madrid’s legend with the magic number that is the Décima. I feel proud to be the president of a club that has these players, of the effort and hard work all year and of the fans, because they got us here,” said Pérez.
Coach Carlo Ancelotti said. “ From the beginning we’ve been able to equalize the score sure. And in the end, the game runs well. This is what we seek since the start of this season. We had to suffer, but we deserve this title. I’m really happy.”
Real skipper, Iker Casillas said winning La Décima is bigger than winning the World Cup.
“La Décima is so important, it’s more so than the World Cup. It’s been so long to wait for La Décima, but it’s a round number, a perfect number. I want to congratulate those who have come here and thank the fans who have not said anything bad. We suffered. They got a fortunate goal when I made a mistake,” said Casillas.
“It’s what we have. Hopefully people will remember La Décima was won in Lisbon. Sometimes we fail, other times we hit the jackpot and I can’t complain,” concluded Casillas.