Real Madrid became the European Champions for a record 11th time as they beat Atletico Madrid 5-3 on penalties in the UEFA Champions League 2015-16 final in Milan.
The match remained tied at 1-1 after 120 minutes of open football, as Sergio Ramos’ 15th minute opener was cancelled by Atletico substitute Yannick Carrasco in the 79th minute. Both the goals were scored from close range, and in doing so for Real Madrid, Sergio Ramos became the first ever defender to score in two Champions League finals.
The game was no short of drama, as Pepe’s foul on Fernando Torres early in the second half handed Atletico a penalty, which was surprisingly missed by the in-form Antoine Griezmann. Many believe the miss was due to the supposed genius of Real goalkeeper Keylor Navas, who deliberately delayed the spot kick and received a Yellow Card for it in return.
The lasting stalemate took the final to a nervy penalty shootout, wherein Los Blancos’ star man Cristiano Ronaldo scored the winning penalty after a missed spot kick from Atleti’s Juanfran, thereby winning the European title 5-3 on penalties.
Zinedine Zidane – the first ever French manager to win the Champions League – was delighted with clinching the decorated title in his first season in-charge of his beloved club, and he let it show in his post-match interview, as he said: “Yes, I’ve dreamed about this. I’m positive. The president has given me the opportunity to coach this great club. I’ve got a phenomenal squad who have fought and worked incredibly hard. Having players with this kind of talent, you can achieve something great.”
The Real Madrid legend further added: “We went into the game in good shape. Towards the end we suffered physically. The players had cramps but that’s normal. Mentally, there’s a lot of pressure. You have to fight and we’ve got there by working hard.”
Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone displayed true sportsmanship following the loss, but remained critical of himself. He said: “You do your best, you try to do what you can, you get to two finals and you lose them both. One you lose 4-1, even though it was 2-1 for a long time, the other you lose on penalties. This cycle for me at Atletico, two finals in three years is, actually a marvellous achievement, but I am not happy with what I have achieved.”