Coming to Cardiff, Juventus came with the proud record of having conceded just three goals in their Champions League campaign this season. The side looked arguably more balanced than Real Madrid. At the same time, they were facing a Real Madrid side that had rampaged into their second consecutive final. Most of the players in the team have memories of winning the trophy, while those in Juventus only remember the disappointment they faced in Berlin against Barcelona. The mavens had predicted a narrow win for both teams in equal measure. A win it was for Real Madrid, but it was anything but a narrow one.
Juventus were the better side in the first half. Although Real Madrid were hogging possession, they were hounded by Juve shirts as soon as they got to the final third. Juventus, for their part, were looking dangerous on the counter. But the presence of Cristiano Ronaldo was always going to be a boost for Real and it proved to be so. The Portuguese captain played a one two with Dani Carvajal before taking a shot from just inside the box. It took a slight deflection of Leonardo Bonucci and went past Buffon. Real were in front, despite being second best.
But Juventus responded in the best possible way. Minutes later, Alex Sandro hoisted the ball into the box. It was chested down by Higuain and who then put it to Mario Mandzukic. The Croat chested the ball down himself before going for an audacious overhead kick. It floated over Keylo Navas, despite the Real keeper being in full stretch and went to the back of the net. It was then a bit of a stalemate and the 1-1 scoreline at half-time did justice to how the game went.
In the second-half, Real came out all guns blazing. In the 61st minute, Casemiro took a shot from a distance from where he has no right to score. But, before the ball covers too much distance it took a scrape off the heals of Sami Khedira. That put it past the grip of Buffon and Real were in the lead again. Just over two minutes later, Cristiano Ronaldo slotted the ball past Buffon after some nippy work from Luka Modric and Real were three up.
Juventus looked down and out after that but the result would have been truly confirmed for the hopeless optimist only after Juan Cuadrado was sent off thanks to some very typical Sergio Ramos antics. Juventus fans had found there villain for the night but the game was well and truly lost then. Marco Asensio, who came in for Isco scored another and suddenly, Juventus had lost the match by an even more humiliating margin than what it was in the 2015 final against Barcelona.
Gianluigi Buffon almost had an expression of resignation as he walked around the pitch after the match. This was the third Champions League final for the Italian keeper in his near 22-year career. Depending on the way Juventus play, he may get another crack at the title next year. But what is sure, is that we are living in the era of Real Madrid.