MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo gave his former coach one more dazzling display of his skills, and delivered a trophy to Real Madrid in the process.
Ronaldo scored a pair of highlight goals, lifting Real Madrid to a 3-1 victory over Chelsea in the final of the Guinness International Champions Cup on Wednesday night.
“We played beautiful football,” Ronaldo said.
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Marcelo Vieira also scored for Real, which became the event’s inaugural champion by topping a Chelsea club now being coached by Jose Mourinho. He left Madrid earlier this year for a return to Chelsea, and after years of enjoying watching Ronaldo frustrate opponents, it was Mourinho who couldn’t find a way to stop him.
“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.”
Ramires scored for Chelsea, which posted a pair of shutouts to get into the championship match before 67,273 fans at Sun Life Stadium, home of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins.
The colorful Mourinho took what were considered a few subtle jabs at Real Madrid leading up to the Guinness final, though Ronaldo took the high ground when asked about his former coach before the match.
After the final whistle Wednesday, though, Ronaldo clearly was enjoying the moment — but insisted that his two after-goal celebrations were not in any way directed toward Mourinho.
“I don’t worry about the other people,” Ronaldo said.
This match, the finale of an eight-team tournament, was supposed to be merely an exhibition between two strong teams, part of their preseason preparations.
The way they played certainly didn’t suggest that either side found this one to be meaningless.
“I would expect those two teams to play it seriously,” said Los Angeles Galaxy forward Landon Donovan, whose team fell to AC Milan earlier Wednesday in the third-place match of the eight-team event.
Donovan was proven correct.
With the match tied at 1 in the 30th minute, Ronaldo was the recipient of a hard foul from behind by Branislav Ivanovic. Ronaldo merely smiled as he sat on the turf, adjusting his uniform 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 diving goalkeeper Petr Cech.
And in the 57th minute, Ronaldo struck again, perfectly timing his run toward the goal line and sending in a header for a two-goal advantage. That left Mourinho with a blank expression, and the outcome essentially decided.
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.
It was the tournament’s last bit of drama. From the moment the bracket came out this spring, many expected that it would be a Real-Chelsea final and serve as a reunion for Mourinho — who raised eyebrows by calling the Brazilian player Ronaldo, who is retired, “the real Ronaldo,” a phrase that served as the perceived shot at the Real star — and his former club.
“It’s not my movie. … It’s not my problem,” Mourinho said.
Real opened the scoring in the 14th minute. Vieira dribbled into the penalty area and skipped a shot through defender Gary Cahill and into the right side of the net.
Chelsea got the equalizer quickly. Ramires split two defenders and went in against goalkeeper Iker Casillas, who charged off his line to cut down the angle. His effort was in vain, as Ramires flicked the ball softly over him and into the net.
Chelsea had three great chances in the first seven minutes of the second half to tie it 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.
Ronaldo’s second goal came five minutes later, and it was followed by an emphatic celebration.
“I only concentrate on what happens on the field,” Ronaldo said. “What happens outside the field does not affect me. My only job is to help Real Madrid.”