LISBON, Portugal – Real Madrid won the UEFA Champions League final Saturday for its record 10th European title, scoring three times in the second period of extra time to beat Atletico Madrid 4-1.
Gareth Bale scored on a header in the 110th minute, Marcelo connected in the 118th and Cristiano Ronaldo capped the spree on a penalty kick.
Atletico was on the brink of victory in regulation time, but Real’s Sergio Ramos tied it on a header in the third minute of stoppage time at the end of 90 minutes.
“It’s the most important goal I’ve ever scored,” Ramos said. “We made history against a great rival.”
Diego Godin put Atletico ahead when his 35th-minute header looped into the Real goal left vacant by goalkeeper Iker Casillas’ rush out.
Atletico – which had to substitute striker Diego Costa early in the first half – simply wore out in extra time, failing to follow up on the Spanish league title it won last weekend.
Had Atletico held on for its first European title, Ronaldo and Bale would have shared the blame for a series of missed chances in the 90 minutes.
Instead, the star forwards – both signed for world-record transfer fees – added to their storied club’s history in club soccer’s most prestigious competition.
“I’ve learned from past experiences to keep going, to forget about the chances you miss and keep persevering,” Bale said. “The celebrations of the crowd meant everything to me.”
Real coach Carlo Ancelotti also tied the competition record with three victories as a coach, after winning in 2003 and ‘07 with AC Milan. The Italian is the fifth coach to win with two clubs.
“The hardest thing was to tie the game because it was so tough for us at that point,” Ancelotti said. “They suffocated the space and were doing it so well. The goal gave us strength.”
Casillas also won his third Champions League title, following victories in 2000 and ‘02.
Costa hobbled off after 9 minutes, making it clear that the gamble by coach Diego Simeone to put him in the starting lineup had backfired. Costa also exited last weekend in a 1-1 draw at Barcelona in the Spanish league decider and received a horse placenta treatment on his right hamstring during the week.
Four minutes after Bale wasted Real’s best early chance, scooping a left-foot shot wide from 12 yards, Godin made Real pay.
Casillas charged from his line when Juanfran lifted a high ball toward the penalty spot, and was stranded when Godin rose to loop a header toward the empty goal. The ball crossed the goal line before the goalkeeper could swipe it away.
Atletico was less than 2 minutes from the title when its tough defensive line was finally breached on Ramos’ sixth goal in seven games.
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