On this day 3 June 2017 (Exactly 3 years ago today) Real Madrid became the first team to retain the UEFA Champions League, and Cristiano Ronaldo the first player to score in three finals, as a clinical display proved too much for Juventus in Cardiff and secured their 12th European crown.
No side had won successive European Cups since AC Milan in 1989 and 1990, and Madrid were set on their way by Ronaldo’s deflected opener midway through the first half – their 500th goal in the competition. Mario Mandžukić swiftly brought Juve level with a stunning finish, but Madrid looked stronger thereafter and two goals in four minutes, from Casemiro and Ronaldo, and a late fourth by substitute Marco Asensio, clinched their third crown in four years.
Juventus might have lost their four previous UEFA Champions League finals – including 2015 – but they started full of confidence, Gonzalo Higuaín forcing Keylor Navas into action twice in the first five minutes before Miralem Pjanić’s stinging low shot was superbly pushed away by the goalkeeper.
Madrid, however, are masters of the clinical counterattack, and proved that again in the 20th minute. In a superb rapid break, Ronaldo played in Dani Carvajal down the right and found the space to sweep the ensuing low cross beyond Gianluigi Buffon and inside the far post with the help of a deflection off Leonardo Bonucci.
Juve came back strongly, though, and within seven minutes they were level. Gonzalo Higuaín flicked back to Mandžukić 15 metres out and, with his back to goal and defenders closing in, the Croatian improvised superbly to beat Navas with an acrobatic overhead kick.
With no let-up, Ronaldo miscued a header from Isco’s inviting cross as Madrid ended the first half on top and they carried that into the second period. A goal appeared to be in the offing and it duly arrived a minute past the hour, Casemiro’s first-time shot from 30 metres spinning in via a touch off Sami Khedira.
Three minutes later, the game was as good as settled. Luka Modrić was quickly in to win possession down the right, swap passes with Carvajal and deliver a fine cross to the near post where, inevitably, Ronaldo was waiting to divert beyond Buffon.
Juve never looked like mounting a second comeback and finished with ten men after substitute Juan Cuadrado tangled with Sergio Ramos to become the third player to be sent off in a European Cup final. Madrid crowned their evening in the closing seconds as Marcelo crossed for Asensio to slot in and complete a devastating second-half display.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
Another remarkable evening for the Portuguese star. Two typically assured finishes gave him his fourth UEFA Champions League final victory, made him the first player to score in three finals (all won), and made it 600 career goals for club and country. Oh, and he finished as the UEFA Champions League’s top scorer for the fifth year in a row with 12 goals.
On this day 3 June 1959 (Exactly 61 years ago today) Real Madrid and Stade de Reims met at the Neckarstadion in Stuttgart in a repeat of the first ever European Cup final. The Whites came out on top , winning their fourth European Cup in a row and beating Reims in final for the second time in four years, following the 1956 final. Madrid dominated the match with goals by Enrique Mateos and Alfredo Di Stéfano
Stadium: Neckarstadion (Stuttgart)
Real Madrid 2 – 0 Reims
Enrique Mateos (2)
Alfredo Di Stefano (47)
Real Madrid Line-up : Domínguez, Marquitos, Santamaría, Zárraga, Ruiz, Santisteban, Kopa, Mateos, Di Stéfano, Rial and Gento.
Stade de Reims Line-up Colonna, Rodzik, Jonquet, Giraudo, Penverne, Leblond, Lamartine, Bliard, Fontaine, Piantoni and Vincent.
Referee: Albert Dusch (Germany).
On this day 3 June 1929 (Exactly 91 years ago today) 19-Times Grand Slam Singles champion, Helen Wills Moody beat Simonne Mathieu (6-3, 6-4) to win her second French Open Women’s Singles title.
On this day 3 June 1967 (Exactly 53 years ago today) Roy Emerson beat fellow Australian Tony Roche 6-1, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 for his 12th and final Grand Slam title
On this day 3 June 1972 (Exactly 48 years ago today) American icon Billie Jean King won her only French Open singles title after beating Evonne Goolagong of Australia 6-3, 6-3
On this day 3 June 2012 (Exactly 8 years ago today) Tiger Woods claimed his 73rd PGA tour victory with a 2 stroke win over Andrés Romero & Rory Sabbatini in the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village GC; equaled Jack Nicklaus’s record
On this day 3 June 2014 (Exactly 6 years ago today) Hashim Amla became the first non-white captain of the South African national cricket team.
Amla captained his side to a historic victory against Sri Lanka in his first Test series as captain.
On this day 3 June 2018 (Exactly 2 years ago today) Golden State guard Stephen Curry broke Ray Allen’s NBA Finals record for most 3-pointers with 9 in the Warriors 19 point Game 2 win over Cleveland
By: George ‘Alan Green’ Mahamah