A goalless yet action-packed first half which saw both Mohamed Salah and Dani Carvajal’s World Cup hopes thrown into doubt as they both left the pitch through injury was ignited in the second as Los Blancos stepped up a gear to fire themselves to glory.
Two Loris Karius goalkeeping errors allowed Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale the opportunity to find the back of the net, while the Welshman’s bicycle kick two minutes after replacing Isco showcased the difference in quality between the Spaniards and the Merseysiders, whose sole strike of the evening came via Sadio Mane.
And post-match, while speaking to AS, Zidane revealed he had told his side to enjoy the feeling of becoming the first team to clinch three consecutive European crowns since Bayern Munich in the 1970s as well as the only team to do so in the Champions League era.
“We must enjoy this moment, what they are doing, making history,” he said. “We live for these moments, these emotions. It is very nice, that’s the truth. This is what this team has, talent and hard work. We wanted to do this, and we have done it again. I told the players to enjoy it as they will never be [part of] anything like this.”
Given the chance to hail Bale’s strike after the victory, Zidane again showed his reluctance to overpraise the 28-year-old, with the Frenchman keen to remind the world that Cristiano Ronaldo produced similar magic during the semi-finals.
“Bale played a great game,” Zidane replied. “But they all did. It was just like Cristiano the other day in Turin.”
As has been the case throughout the season, Real Madrid endured tough spells during the 90 minutes, although Karius’ duo of errors certainly helped them on their way.
“In the end, lots of things happened in the game, but we did it,” the Los Blancos boss added. “We were able to focus on what we had to do, even when they equalised. Then a player comes in who can do that, and we are all happy.”