Ronaldo antics steal the show

THOSE ABS: Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their fourth goal from the penalty spot during the UEFA Champions League Final between Real Madrid and Atletico de Madrid at Estadio da Luz on Sunday in Lisbon, Portugal. Photo: Getty Images

THOSE ABS: Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their fourth goal from the penalty spot during the UEFA Champions League Final between Real Madrid and Atletico de Madrid at Estadio da Luz on Sunday in Lisbon, Portugal. Photo: Getty Images

THE evening may have ended with yet another flash of sport's most photographed six-pack, but most of it appeared to suggest an impending kick to those very guts.

For 90 minutes of Sunday's Champions League final, it must have felt like deja vu for Cristiano Ronaldo. 

A decade earlier, he was the pin-up superstar leading Portugal into the European Championship final on home soil where it was confidently expected to smash a Greek side looking about as vulnerable as its economy. Greece won 1-0.

At the end of normal time on Sunday at the same Estaacádio da Luz in Ronaldo's national capital Lisbon, his star-studded Real Madrid outfit was losing 1-0 to bitter cross-city rivals Atletico, a team given about as much hope as Greece had been.

In both games, the multiple world player of the year was strangely anonymous, his involvement largely limited to shoulder-shrugging sooks.

Unfortunately for Atletico and its slick-haired coach Diego Simeone - the former Argentinian enforcer best remembered for getting another ex-Manchester United No.7 David Beckham sent off at the 1998 World Cup - soccer matches do not finish after 90 minutes.

And in the third minute of stoppage time he committed the sort of lapse which would leave an under-13 coach at Churchill Park tearing out any remaining hair, namely failing to position defenders on posts from a corner and thereby allowing Sergio Ramos to head a dramatic equaliser.

Atletico had beaten both Real and Barcelona to the Spanish title, already knocked the Catalans out in the Champions League quarter-finals and been seconds away from club football's ultimate prize. But the Ramos header was a knockout blow of Barry Hall-Brent Staker proportions.

With Ronaldo unusually quiet (save for the whinging), Angel Di Maria, who assumed the man of the match title, and Gareth Bale, who took over as world's most expensive player, combined to put Real ahead before Marcelo confirmed the result two minutes from the end of extra time.

And as the clocked ticked into stoppage time in extra time and the game well and truly won, Ronaldo decided it was time to get involved.

Dribbling into the box and gleefully accepting a trip from an exhausted and shattered defender, he couldn't grab the ball quick enough when the ref pointed to the spot.

Tapping home the penalty he got the abs out for the photographers as if he had just single-handedly won the match.

Half beefcake, half porkchop.

Admittedly, Ronaldo's record 17 goals in the competition played a major part in winning the trophy.

But it was noticeable that while his teammates celebrated with each other, he did so alone with his greatest admirer.

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