Plagued by hamstring troubles which had blighted the closing weeks of his season, Diego Costa sought out the help of the controversial Serbian doctor Marijana Kovacevic – she of the horse placenta injections – in a bid to be fit for the final, but he ended up pulling up short after just nine minutes.
Looking uncomfortable as he trotted around the pitch in the game’s opening moments, Costa was clearly in some distress from the outset, and he cut a disconsolate figure as he left proceedings to be replaced by Adrian Lopez.
He really should have been declared a non-runner.
It Was The Beginning Of The End For Iker Casillas
Coming, going, flailing, conceding.
Iker Casillas’s role in Diego Godin’s 36th minute opener was certainly a decisive one, and in many ways it kickstarted the beginning of the end for the Spain legend at Real Madrid.
Having been overlooked for the 2013/14 league campaign by Carlo Ancelotti in favour of Diego Lopez, Casillas did return to the league team the following season, but not before a disastrous World Cup which saw him concede seven times in two matches – including five in that remarkable defeat by the Netherlands.
He called that ‘the worst performance of his career’, and with Keylor Navas around and the club actively trying to sign David De Gea – albeit with a dodgy fax machine – the end of a glittering 16-season Real career was nigh.
You Wanted To Hug Cristian Rodriguez
We’re into the third minute of stoppage time, Atletico are holding on and on the bench, unused substitute Cristian Rodriguez simply can’t take it any more.
He sits there, paralysed by fear and with his head in his hands, as if he knows what is going to come next.
And sure enough, Luka Modric’s corner is headed in by Sergio Ramos to spark wild scenes of celebration from everyone bar the stoic Carlo Ancelotti.
When those celebrations have died down, the television director can’t help himself. Back he goes to Rodriguez, still sitting there, still wearing that same pained expression.
Did that really happen? Yes, Cristian. Yes it did.
Andy Murray Had Gareth Bale’s Back
Gareth Bale just smashed a very large egg all over his critics faces!
It’s hard to imagine it now, but Gareth Bale was under an enormous amount of pressure heading into the final, as he attempted to justify the fact that he was the most expensive player in the world by delivering Real’s ‘La Decima’ – their 10th European Cup.
In the event he didn’t have that great of a game, but all of that was forgotten when he rose to head home from close range just 10 minutes from the end of extra-time to effectively seal victory against a shattered Atletico.
Andy Murray – who has been seen in Barcelona shirts in the past – certainly enjoyed it.
And So Did The Suspended Xabi Alonso
Some say he’s still running.
Marcelo’s Goal Was Weirdly Easy
Now 2-1 down and having had their dreams crushed into dust by their bigger, richer, annoyingly perfect neighbours, it was hard not to feel sorry for the broken Atletico players at this point.
Having said that though, they really could have done with at least considering closing down Marcelo as he approached the edge of the penalty area two minutes from the end of extra-time.
Go on. He’s right there. Stick a foot in.
Cristiano Ronaldo Just Wanted To Take His Shirt Off
The fourth goal in a 4-1 win, and a penalty to boot, doesn’t usually merit the full-on, shirt-off, flexing the muscles treatment, but this was Cristiano Ronaldo back in Lisbon, and to be honest did you blame him?
Angel Di Maria Was The Man Of The Match
He was supposedly squeezed out of Real Madrid by the arrival of Gareth Bale, but Angel Di Maria played a crucial role in the Welshman’s goal in Lisbon, where he was given the UEFA Man of The Match award.
Playing on the left of a midfield three, the Argentinean was a picture of perpetual motion as he pinned Atletico back throughout the game with his direct running and linking up with the front three, and it is hard to get your head around the fact that he would soon be shipped out of the Bernabeu.
As he collected his man of the match award from one Sir Alex Ferguson he was doubtless being told all about the glories that would soon await him at Old Trafford, where he would end up three months later.
That went well.
There Were 12 Yellow Cards
Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers was a busy man in Lisbon, issuing 12 yellow cards – five of which came in a chaotic period of extra-time.
It was the most in European Cup final history and more than the previous three finals combined, whilst Atletico’s seven bookings were also the most picked up by a single team in the final.
And A Red For Diego Simeone
Then at full-time, Diego Simeone went mental.
Reacting to what he saw as goading from Raphael Varane, who kicked the ball in the direction of the Atletico Madrid manager, Simeone stormed onto the pitch, eyes bulging, fingers jabbing as he sought revenge for what had just befallen him and his team.
He was eventually given a red card and made to serve a one-match touchline ban by UEFA, who probably didn’t tell him the news in person for fear of what he might do.
Two years later, word seems to have got out that he wants revenge…