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03rd Jun 2017

No prizes for guessing who got top marks in our Champions League final player ratings

Give that man another Ballon d'Or

Robert Redmond

Real Madrid have retained the Champions League.

The Spanish side have become the first team to successfully defend the Champions League since the competition changed format back in 1992. Zinedine Zidane’s side overwhelmed Juventus, winning the game in Cardiff 4-1.

Cristiano Ronaldo got two goals in what was a brilliant game.

Here’s how we rated the players:


Gianluigi Buffon – 6

For Juventus, most of the focus before Saturday’s game was on Buffon. The great Italian goalkeeper has been a professional for 22 years, he has made 622 appearances for Juventus and earned 168 caps for the Azzurri. He has won multiple league titles, Italian cups, the UEFA Cup and the World Cup, but, ahead of the final in Cardiff, had yet to win the Champions League.

Despite being the best goalkeeper of his generation, the most consistent and influential in his position for well over a decade, club football’s biggest prize has eluded him, and will continue to do so for another year.

He arguably couldn’t do anything for any of Madrid’s goals.

Leonardo Bonnuci – 6

Bonnuci showed why he’s rated as one of the best in his position with a fantastic cross-field pass for Sandro, which led to Juventus’ equaliser.

Giorgio Chiellini – 5

It was a tough night for the Italian. Madrid’s two forwards, Benzema and Ronaldo, caused the three-man defence trouble throughout.

Andrea Barzagli – 5

The 36-year-old Italian made a great recovery tackle on Isco in the second half, but otherwise struggled against Madrid’s forwards.

Dani Alves – 5

The Brazilian defender has already won the Champions League three times with Barcelona, and had a point to prove to his old team after they somehow allowed him to leave the Nou Camp last summer.

However, he had a quiet game, failing to make any real impact.

Alex Sandro – 6

The Brazilian full-back has been linked with a big money move to Chelsea and he showed why with his role in the team’s equaliser. Got to the byline and made a successful cross, which would eventually lead to that amazing goal.

Miralem Pjanic – 5

Almost found the bottom corner early in the first half, forcing a great save from Navas. Failed to stop Kroos for Madrid’s opener, and ran out of steam early in the second half.

Sami Khedira – 5

Up against his old team, Kedira inadvertently aided Madrid at times in the first half. The German ventured forward often, but left large spaces behind him for Zidane’s side to attack when Juventus lost the ball.

Paulo Dybala – 5

A frustrating first-half. Evidently very talented, and went on a few nice runs, but often lost possession and held onto the ball too long at times. Non-entity in the second half.

Gonzalo Higuain – 5

He did well for Mandzukic’s goal, controlling the cross from Sandro and setting up Mandzukic. Starved of service in the second half.

Mario Mandzukic – 8

He’ll never, ever score a better goal than Juventus’ equaliser in the first half. The Croatian showed great athleticism, and quickness of thought, to score a looping overhead. Brilliant.

He also worked very hard, and found himself dropping into midfield when out of possession in the first half. His performance dropped in the second half, like that of his teammates, but we have to give him a high rating for that goal.


Juan Cuadrado – 2

Came on to help his team after 67 minutes. The Colombian got booked, moaned at his teammates, lost the ball and got a second yellow.

Claudio Marchisio – 5

On for last 20 minutes, no impact.

Real Madrid

Keylor Navas – 7

He doesn’t have anything like the profile of Buffon, but Navas impressed with some early saves. Some might argue that he could have got closer to Mandzukic’s goal, but we’re putting that down to the striker’s brilliance, rather than a goalkeeper error.

Daniel Carvajal – 7

The 25-year-old was excellent for Madrid’s opener, providing the pass for Ronaldo’s goal, after a great overlap and first time pass back to his teammate.

Sergio Ramos – 6

Sloppy at times in the first half, it appeared as though he wanted to booked. Stood up well to challenge of Higuain.

Raphael Varane – 7


Marcelo – 8

The Brazilian full-back received a lot of plaudits going into the game, with some comparing him to Roberto Carlos and calling him the best in his position in the world.

A quiet first-half, but granted more space in the second and was a constant attacking outlet, setting up Madrid’s fourth.

Casemiro – 8

The Brazilian midfielder has been a key player under Zidane, adding balance and steel alongside the more talented Modric and Kroos, and he was impressive against Juventus. Scored with a fortunate deflection, but if you don’t shoot, you don’t score. An important player in Madrid’s excellent midfield trio.

Luka Modric – 8

The brain of Madrid’s team – a brilliant player, who never seems to make a mistake or get caught in possession. Modric set up Ronaldo for Madrid’s third goal with a great cross from the byline. He’s just a fantastic player to watch, and would get into any team in Europe.

Toni Kroos – 8

With Juventus’ players all dropping behind the ball when out of possession in the first half, there wasn’t much room for Kroos play any penetrative passes. However, the German was fantastic for Ronaldo’s goal. He surged past two Juventus midfielders before laying the ball off, playing an essential role in the opener.

Got better as the game went on.

Isco – 7

The Spanish midfielder got the nod ahead of Gareth Bale, as the Welshman wasn’t fully fit, but failed to continue his excellent form of late. Showed some nice touches in the first half, but couldn’t really get into the game until Juventus ran out of steam.

Karim Benzema – 7

Had a quiet first-half, finding space hard to come by, but played a role in Ronaldo’s first goal.

Cristiano Ronaldo – 10 (MOTM)

This was Ronaldo’s fifth Champions League final, and he was attempting to win the trophy for the fourth time. However, the Madrid superstar has only really performed well in one final – in 2008 against Chelsea.

He scored the winning penalty against Atletico last year, and the fourth goal in a 4-1 win in 2014, but otherwise Ronaldo’s effect has been minimal in European Cup finals – until tonight.

Ronaldo swept home a brilliant opener, playing a one-two with Carvajal, before slotting the ball past Buffon. The 32-year-old became the first player to score in three separate Champions League finals.

He very much played on the edge of the game, but was a constant threat and worry for Juventus. His finish for Real’s third, and his second, was brilliant, a real poacher’s effort after a great darting run.

There’s another Ballon d’Or coming his way.


Gareth Bale – N/A

Came on for the last 12 minutes.

Marco Ascensio – 7

On for the last eight minutes, and scored Madrid’s fourth.

Alvaro Morata – N/A

On for the last few minutes.