Ronaldo show rolls on...

Ronaldo show rolls on...
Back on the Cardiff turf where he won the first major silverware of his astonishing career, Cristiano Ronaldo cemented his legacy as one of the game's all-time greats with a decisive brace in Real Madrid's 4-1 victory over Juventus in the Champions League final.

Ronaldo's maiden trophy came at the Principality Stadium when, aged just 19, he headed the opening goal as Manchester United beat Millwall in the 2004 FA Cup final.

Now, 13 years later, he made a triumphant return to Wales to further his ceaseless quest to be ranked not only as the best of his generation, but the very finest ever to lace up a pair of boots. Although Ronaldo struck the winning penalty in last year's Champions League final against Atletico Madrid and also netted in the 2014 final triumph over the same opponents, the Portugal forward was unable to impose himself in either match and endured heavy criticism for his spluttering displays.

With that in mind, Madrid's bid to win a 12th European Cup served as a referendum on Ronaldo's right to be mentioned in the same breath as immortals like Alfredo Di Stefano, Johan Cruyff and his old rival Lionel Messi, who all played their best with the biggest prize at stake.

His response to the challenge was emphatic and no-one can question Ronaldo is the equal of Messi after he drew level with the Barcelona striker on four Champions League winners' medals -- three with Madrid and the first with United.

The 20th club trophy of Ronaldo's career comes at the end of a season in which he also helped Madrid end a five-year title drought in Spain.

For good measure, Ronaldo's double took him above Messi to finish as this season's Champions League top scorer with 12 goals. "I always do my talking on the pitch. The people that criticise me will need to put their guitar back in the case because once again we won and we are the best," Ronaldo crowed. "On a personal level I'm happy. I scored twice and once again I'm top scorer in the Champions League!"
After his previous final struggles, Ronaldo had promised it would be different this time as he arrived in Cardiff fresh and in form, having been rested for nine league games.

His 50th and 51st goals of the season proved he was true to his word.

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