Cristiano Ronaldo could not contain his pride after firing Real Madrid to their 11th Champions League success on Saturday with a decisive, and pre-planned, penalty in a 5-3 shoot-out over Atletico Madrid.
And after Atletico defender Juanfran’s penalty came off the post, Ronaldo sparked wild celebrations at Milan’s San Siro stadium after stepping up to confidently sweep his effort past Jan Oblak.
With 16 goals in the competition, Ronaldo has finished the top scorer for the second time after his 17-goal haul in 2014.
Although he missed out on matching his previous record, his pride was plain to see.
“An unbelievable night, to win my third Champions League on penalties again, to be the top scorer in the competition again, I’m so proud,” said the Portuguese star, who won the trophy with Manchester United in 2008 – when he missed a penalty in the shoot-out – and with Real in 2014 when Atletico crashed to a 4-1 extra-time defeat.
“We work hard during the season to win this amazing trophy, so I’m so proud of my teammates, of the fans, families, of the coach.
“It’s my second year I scored more than 15 goals. The person with the season scoring record in this competition is me, with 17 goals (in 2014).
“And this year 16; or 17 with the penalty. What more can I ask for ?”
Two years after reviving Real’s bid for a 10th title, Real captain Sergio Ramos bundled home a close-range opener after just 15 minutes only for Yannick Carrasco to force extra time when he came off the bench to level for Atletico 11 minutes from the end.
Real spurned chances to secure the trophy in both periods of extra time, but kept their composure throughout a tense penalty shoot-out that went their way when Juanfran hit the post.
Ronaldo, he appeared to suggest, was never likely to miss.
“To be honest, I was confident I would score, I said to Zidane before the penalties, ‘put me the last one because I feel I’m going to score the winning goal, and this is what happened,” he said.
“I’m so proud to score the winning goal and to win the Champions League again.”
Ronaldo capped the celebrations with the trademark removal of his shirt, revealing a still muscular and toned physique, although after spurning a couple of real chances, the 31-year-old admitted his performance was far from perfect.
“It maybe wasn’t the best one, but who played unbelievable tonight? No one. It’s tough. It’s the end of the season, you don’t have power in your legs that you have at the beginning of the season.”
Zidane becomes just the seventh footballer to win the trophy as coach and player. In 2002, the Frenchman’s stunning volley was the match-winner in a 2-1 defeat of Bayer Leverkusen in Glasgow.
“I’m so proud to be part of this great club. It’s the club of my life, the one that made me who I am,” said Zidane.
Ronaldo, meanwhile, says there’s plenty more to come.
“I’m always there, in the top level. I still feel good, I still feel fresh, not tonight though!” he said.
“I showed the team that I’m there. For the good moments and the bad. This is what makes me feel proud.”