Buffon feels the pain after third final defeat

Doug Mendoza
June 4, 2017

In a high-quality UEFA Champions League final match in Cardiff, the Portugal captain put Real Madrid ahead with a first-time finish from 16 yards before Mario Mandzukic equalised. Both teams then seemed to need a breather as we got to half-time after a frenetic but high quality first 45. "I told them to continue with what we were doing but putting more pressure on them and playing with more width". "The numbers don't lie", he replied to a question about whether, at 32, he might be approaching the downhill piste of his career.

"The 12th for the insatiable", read a wraparound cover on AS, which hailed the decisive Cristiano Ronaldo as the most valuable player of Saturday's final and said he was "a step away from his fifth Ballon d'Or".

Ramos had made his mark in his previous two finals for the right reasons, heading in the 93rd-minute equaliser in 2014 against Atletico Madrid to save Madrid's skin and set up their 10th European triumph.

A smiling Ronaldo, speaking to the press as he sat alongside Ferguson, described a season when they won the league and European Cup double for the first time in 59 years as "fantastic". They faced tough battles in three out of four of their matches - against Bayern Munich and Atletico - in the quarter- and semi-finals of the Champions League.

Asensio added: "Since the beginning of the season I knew I wanted to stay here, I wanted to gain minutes to play these kind of games and it's been an incredible season". "But I'm very grateful to this wonderful club for giving me this opportunity". This is one of the best moments of my career - I have the chance to say this every year!

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He may say it again, too.

A move to Manchester United has been strongly mooted but the Premier League side have played down those reports.

"It's a big disappointment because we thought we did everything we needed to win", Buffon said as Real celebrated at the Principality Stadium.

"He was fantastic, this past few months".

Other reports by GizPress

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