Madrid (AFP) – The big-game experience of a side littered with galacticos helped ensure an 11th European title for Real Madrid, Spanish press reported Sunday.
Real beat city rivals Atletico 5-3 on penalties after Saturday’s final in Milan finished 1-1 after extra-time.
Real “shone in the first quarter of an hour, but then lost its way in the game”, said Marca, the most-read sports newspaper in Spain.
The Zinedine Zidane-coached side went on to win the match thanks to “its character during big occasions and the quality of its players”.
“The 11th title will enter into history as the toughest of all Real have won,” said Madrid-based sports daily AS.
“Real didn’t play well yesterday, but the manner in which they clung on and came through at the end with half the team suffering cramp makes it praiseworthy,” AS said, highlighting top efforts from Brazilian Casemiro, Welshman Gareth Bale and goal scorer Sergio Ramos.
Ramos’ early goal was cancelled out by Atletico substitute Yannick Carrasco 11 minutes from time. However, Real kept their cool from the spot to score all five penalties as Juanfran’s solitary miss for Atletico teed up Cristiano Ronaldo to lash home the decisive strike.
El Pais hailed Real as the “indisputable kings of Europe”, while lamenting Atletico’s “curse”, Diego Simeone’s team having now lost three European Cup finals.
Barcelona-based sports dailies Sport and Mundo Deportivo both ran the headline “Maximum penalty” alongside a photo of prostrate Atletico players and questioning the supposed offside it said allowed Real to open the score.
Mundo Deportivo editor Santi Nolla called Real’s victory a “triumph”, adding that “no one will talk about their football because there’s little to say about it”.
Elsewhere in Barcelona, broadsheets La Vanguardia and El Periodico both led on political issues, only a small photo showing Real’s victory on their front pages.
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