Gareth Bale left on bench for Champions League final

Ronaldo was nine adrift of Messi going into the quarter-finals this season, but eight goals in two ties against Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid brought him back into contention before the Juve clash.

The legendary Portuguese forward was the key player in the match as he carried his side to yet another triumph.

Selected on multiple occasions for UEFA's Champions League Team of the Season and often regarded as the greatest Croatian footballer of all-time, Luka Modric has thrived since joining Real Madrid from Tottenham Hotspur in 2012.

And the players looked ecstatic as they got their hands on the silverware.

La Liga giants Real Madrid take on Serie A big guns Juventus in the Champions League final in Cardiff tonight.

But Jupp Heynckes's Madrid rose to the challenge and ended the club's 32-year wait to win a seventh European Cup thanks to Predrag Mijatovic's cool finish from a tight angle in the 66th minute.

Real, who now have a record 12 European Cup wins, grabbed the lead in the 20th minute through Ronaldo, who slotted the ball low into the corner after a clever cut-back from Dani Carvajal following a classic counter attack.

Much was made of Juve's dam-like defensive system before the game but Cristiano Ronaldo's early strike turned the game on its head. Surprisingly, Juventus have only won Europe's most prestigious honour twice compared to Madrid's eleven.

With less than four hours to go before the Champions League final, the roof at the Millennium Stadium is being closed.

Spanish daily Marca said the flight was still expected to make it to Cardiff in good time for the final.

Most trains were filled to capacity but there were no reports of problems for fans arriving at Cardiff's main station.

The oddsmakers favor Real Madrid, but Juventus prevailed in the clubs' last meeting, a 3-2 aggregate win in the 2015 Champions League semifinals.

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