Cristiano Ronaldo struck twice as a rampant Real Madrid side, featuring the most expensive strikeforce ever assembled, powered to a 2-0 win over Sevilla in the all-Spanish UEFA Super Cup at the Cardiff City Stadium last night.
Real started with eight of the team that won the Champions League last season - plus their two big summer signings, Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez - and were predictably the better side in the annual curtain-raiser to the European club season, far too strong for Sevilla, the Europa League winners.
Ronaldo put Real ahead after 30 minutes. Gareth Bale raced forward and then sent a deadly accurate, swirling 40-metre cross-field pass into Ronaldo's path. The Portugal forward, who ran more than 50m to get into a scoring position, slid the ball home under Sevilla goalkeeper Beto to put the European champions ahead. And the outcome was all but settled after the break when Ronaldo thundered home a left-foot shot Beto could not keep out.
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Real's front four of Bale, Ronaldo, Rodriguez and Karim Benzema, who cost a total of around £270m, might have scored more as the Madrid side strolled to the trophy they last won in 2002.