Saturday 23 September 2017 / 07:19 PM

THOUGHTS FROM THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL

So, Real Madrid have won the Champions League for the 11th time. Pretty impressive by anyone’s standards. Here are four thoughts on the Champions League final between Real and Athletico Madrid.

Cristiano Ronaldo is still absolutely world class

Oddly, there haven’t been as many superlatives written about Ronaldo this season. Perhaps it’s because Barcelona were highly impressive and Luis Suarez had an annus mirabilis; maybe it was because the press are just sick of writing about Ronaldo.

Either way, most of the media seem to have been going on as if Ronaldo is on his way out, so let’s take a second to think about the Portuguese’s 16/16 season. In the Champions League and La Liga, Ronaldo has played 48 games and scored 51 goals. He’s won Europe’s premier competition for the third time, and he scored the winning penalty, coolly smashing the ball high into the back of the net. Ronaldo is still on top of the world, and any suggestion that he isn’t is just jealousy.

It’s been a long season

One worrying note to emerge from the final was that fact that, by and large, the players looked knackered. With a European Championship to come, the last thing we want is for some of the show-stopping players like Bale and Ronaldo to get injured, but that’s exactly what we seem to be risking. Whether we reduce the amount of games or push the international tournaments back, it seems to me like there’s absolutely nothing to be gained by continually increasing the amount of games our players play, even though we’d like them to play every game.

Luka Modric is an unheralded magician

Unsurprisingly, it’s players like Bale, Ronaldo and Benzema who traditionally get the plaudits for Madrid, but Luka Modric was once again fantastic, and he really does deserve some recognition. Since his days at Tottenham, Modric has been one of the most impressive players in Europe, and now at Madrid, his metronomic passing ability continues to impress. One day, the fans will recognise how good he is; until then, Modric will just have to be content with the fact that he has won two Champions Leagues in the last three years.

Pepe is awful. Just awful.

Good player? Yes. Irritating, cheating play-actor? Yes.

[YouTube – Live Sports]

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About the author

Seb Greenwood

CBS’s longest-serving contributor, Englishman Seb is our leading football correspondent, pulling no punches with his opinions on the Premier League and the international scene.

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