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Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice in Real Madrid’s 4-1 mauling of Juventus in the UEFA Champions League final on Saturday, helping his side to their second consecutive title and third over the past four seasons.
The four-time Ballon d’Or winner again finished atop the Champions League scoring charts in the season, having bagged 10 times from the quarterfinal stage on. And though critics accuse him of playing hard for personal glory too much at times, Benzema said the Portuguese man is just as quick to make a key pass.
“I have no words. When I hear his name, I just have a gesture of admiration,” Benzema as quoted by ESPN told AS.
He’s an extraordinary person. We understand each other well on the pitch. He wants to have the ball but it’s very difficult to get it when he runs with it.
The answer is probably no one to stop him wining the Ballon d’Or next year. Because the Portuguese looks odds-on to claim the award for a fifth time to draw level with Messi in December. Only a catastrophe can stop him now.
Benzema went on saying: “He’s not selfish on the pitch but if he has the ball he always wants to go for goal. And suddenly, he’ll set me up to score.”
Ronaldo scored the opening goal in the UCL final in Cardiff before Juve’s Mario Mandzukic’s fantastic overhead volley evened the score. Casemiro gave the Los Blancos the lead in the half-time before Ronaldo and Marco Asensio finished off the Italian champions.
Asensio, 21-year-old, enjoyed a brilliant season at the Santiago Bernaebeu, despite only starting 11 games. Also, the Spaniard expressed his desire to stay on Thursday, despite being linked to other clubs.
“My intention is to stay at Real Madrid and to earn a lot of minutes,” Asensio told reporters at a Spain press conference on Thursday. “My goal is to be a starter at Real Madrid.
“There were moments when I didn’t play, but I wanted to make the most of any chances the coach afforded me and I finished up in good form.
“I wasn’t used to not playing. Yet I worked hard to make the most of the opportunities I got and I was able to finish the season well.”
In addition to Asensio, Alvaro Morata and James Rodriguez have been rumoured to leave Zinedine Zidane’s club this summer. Asensio, however, hopes they will stay.
“This is something for them and the club,” Asensio added. “I hope that they both remain as they’re great players and have helped me a lot throughout the season.
“With the national team I want to nail down my place in the squad and with Real Madrid I will try to get more minutes, more important minutes, and continue winning titles.”