Real Madrid imploded almost instantly after beating Liverpool in 2018

From Cristiano Ronaldo’s limelight-stealing interview to Zinedine Zidane’s snap decision to quit… Real Madrid imploded almost instantly after beating Liverpool in 2018

  • Real Madrid’s joy was short-lived after winning the 2018 Champions League
  • Cristiano Ronaldo revealed he was leaving in the post-match interview 
  • And Zinedine Zidane also departed, quitting only five days after the win  
  • No team have won more European Cups but no team can self destruct like Real 

When Real Madrid beat Liverpool 3-1 in the Champions League final four years ago in Kyiv, Sergio Ramos’s feud with Mohamed Salah lasted longer than the celebrations.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s limelight-stealing post-match interview, in which he said he was leaving, infuriated club president Florentino Perez.

And Gareth Bale’s wonder goal became the catalyst for coach Zinedine Zidane quitting just five days later.

Real Madrid beat Liverpool in the 2018 Champions League final but then imploded

No team have won more European Cups than Madrid, but no club can self-destruct quite as dramatically.

The storm was brewing long before the final, with Zidane wanting Bale sold and for the club to keep Ronaldo.

Perez was of a different opinion and when Bale scored twice it made him more focused on not giving Zidane what he wanted.

Ronaldo told Spanish television: ‘It was very nice playing for Real Madrid. In the coming days I will communicate my decision to the supporters.’

That changed everything, with all subsequent interviews now focused on whether Ronaldo was leaving, not Madrid winning the trophy.

Cristiano Ronaldo announced he was leaving Real in his post-match interview

‘Cristiano is staying with us!’ said Karim Benzema. ‘I don’t see him leaving,’ said Casemiro. ‘Cristiano has to stay,’ said Zidane.

When it was Bale’s turn to be interviewed, he said: ‘I need to play every week so I will have to sit down with my agent.’

Perez was furious with Ronaldo. ‘I don’t know why you are asking me these things when we have just won the Champions League,’ he told reporters. ‘What is important today is the club. And anyway he has a contract.’

Filmed in the dressing room after the game for the club’s television channel, and wearing a copy of an NBA Championship ring, engraved with Lisbon, Milan, Cardiff and Kyiv, the venues where he had won the Champions League, Ramos was oblivious to the criticism coming his way for roughing up Salah.

No club has won as many European Cups but only Real can implode just minutes after winning

When he finally responded publicly, he said: ‘He grabs me first and then I fall to the other side of him. In fact he injures his other arm and they are saying it was a judo hold!’

Ramos did send Salah a text message but it was hardly an olive branch because he also said: ‘If he had taken pain-killing injections he could have played the second half.’

Zidane quit and Ronaldo was sold to Juventus as the president wanted, with Bale staying.

Sergio Ramos rubbed salt in the wounds by saying Mo Salah could have played on 

On Saturday the Welshman will probably be a spectator, for all that current manager Carlo Ancelotti has said about him playing a part.

His goal in Ukraine remains the last big thing he did for the club. As one Madrid reporter said this week: ‘It even ruined Spain’s 2018 World Cup.’

When Zidane left, Real hired Spain coach Julen Lopetegui, who was sacked by the Spanish Football Federation on the eve of the finals for negotiating behind their backs.

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