Image:Soccer Football – Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid – UEFA Champions League Final – San Siro Stadium, Milan, Italy – 28/5/16 Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates with the trophy after winning the UEFA Champions League Action Images via Reuters / Carl Recine
By Richard Martin
MILAN (Reuters) – Cristiano Ronaldo is hungry for even more silverware with Real Madrid after winning the Champions League on Saturday for the third time.
The prolific Portuguese did not look fully fit and was far from his best in the 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid but he slammed home his team’s decisive fifth penalty in the shootout to seal Real’s second Champions League final success over their local rivals in three years.
Ronaldo cited tiredness for his underwhelming display in the final, the last game of another gruelling season in which he played 48 competitive games and scored 51 goals, the sixth straight season in which he has netted over 50 times.
“I’ve played more than 4,000 minutes, and I was number one in the team, again, with the most minutes. That means a lot to me. It means I am still good,” Ronaldo said.
“In six years I’m scoring more than 50 goals, but I am asking for more. I am always at the top level. I just want to maintain that.”
Ronaldo also won the Champions League in 2008 with Manchester United and, after his seventh season with Real, he reiterated that he wants to finish his career at the Bernabeu.
“I feel good and I love to play for Real Madrid. I want to carry on,” he added.
Real forward Gareth Bale also converted his spot-kick in the shootout and provided the assist for Sergio Ramos’s opening goal.
“I thought I was going to be nervous but when I stepped up but to be honest I wasn’t nervous at all. It was only after when I got to the halfway line, I was like ‘Oh my God’,” he said.
“I was hoping they would miss and we would score but stepping up to the penalty I literally felt nothing.”
Bale said winning Europe’s biggest prize twice in his three seasons with Real Madrid vindicated his decision to leave Tottenham Hotspur for the Spanish giants in 2013 for a world record fee.
“That’s why I came to the biggest club in the world — to win Champions leagues but to win it is very difficult,” he added.
“To do it twice in three years is an amazing feat and we just have to try and build on this now.”
(Editing by Ed Osmond)
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