"If he doesn’t score goals, that would be news."
Cristiano Ronaldo gave his former coach one more dazzling display of his skills, and delivered a trophy to Real Madrid in the process with a 3-1 win over Chelsea in Wednesday’s final of the Guinness International Champions Cup.
Ronaldo scored twice and set up the opener as the Spanish giants got one over their old coach Jose Mourinho, who departed the Bernabeu at the end of last season to return to Chelsea.
“We played beautiful football,” Ronaldo said.
Ronaldo’s performance, before 67,273 fans at the home of NFL’s Miami Dolphis, was acknowledged by Mourinho.
“He’s a great player,” Mourinho said. “If he scores goals, that is not news. If he doesn’t score goals, that would be news.”
Real Madrid’s new manager Carlo Ancelotti was also coaching against one of his old teams, having led Chelsea to the 2009—10 English Premier League and F.A. Cup double.
Madrid opened the scoring in the 14th minute as Ronaldo’s well-weighted through ball found Marcelo on the goal side of his marker. After sidestepping the covering defender, the Brazilian fired a well-placed shot into the bottom right corner, beyond the reach of sprawling Chelsea keeper Petr Cech.
Chelsea got the equalizer quickly. Ramires split two defenders to be put clear on the goalkeeper. Iker Casillas charged off his line to cut down the angle but Ramires calmly flicked the ball softly over him and into the net.
With scores level in the 30th minute, Ronaldo was the recipient of a hard tackle from behind by Branislav Ivanovic. Ronaldo merely smiled as he sat on the turf, adjusting his kit while most of the other players convened for a bit of shouting.
Ronaldo got his revenge on the resulting free kick. From about 25 yards, his strike curled to the left, sneaking just under the crossbar and off the fingertips of the diving Cech.
Chelsea had three great chances in the first seven minutes of the second half to equalize again, the best of those when Eden Hazard got behind a defender and carried the ball in alone against Casillas. The keeper sprung off his line to make the save and protect the one—goal lead.
In the 57th minute, Ronaldo struck again, perfectly timing his run toward the goal line and steering in a header to complete the scoring.
Ronaldo had the crowd frenzied at that point, including one fan who got onto the field later in the game. Wearing a Ronaldo jersey, he was able to not just get to the Real Madrid star, but wrap him in an embrace near the sideline and share some words for several seconds before police officers escorted the man off the field.