Ronaldo scores twice as Real Madrid win historic Champions League title

(Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

CARDIFF, UK — No team collects European trophies as ruthlessly as Real Madrid.

On a wonderful evening in Cardiff, the Spaniards did it again — beating Juventus 4-1 in the Champions League final to collect their 12th European Cup and become the first team in 27 years to retain the trophy.

Indeed, Real are the first to win back-to-back titles since the competition morphed into the Champions League, European football’s biggest club competition.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice, becoming the first player to find the net in three Champions League finals. His first effort was his club’s 500th in the competition. Another record.

Although it was Real who opened the scoring through the clinical Ronaldo, the first half belonged to Juventus and, specifically, Mario Mandzukic, whose stunning overhead strike leveled the match for the Italians.

But treble-chasing Juve’s hopes were killed off after the break as Real rose to the occasion to complete their first league and cup double in 59 years.

Casemiro’s deflected long-range strike put the La Liga champions ahead once again, while Ronaldo and substitute Marco Asensio made sure of the victory.