Cristiano Ronaldo understandably took the accolades as his two goals helped to fire Real Madrid to a 12th European Cup but fundamental to their triumph over Juventus on Saturday was midfielder Luka Modric.
It was a fine strike, and it made Ronaldo the first player to have scored in three finals in the Champions League era, but it was cancelled out by Mandzukic's masterpiece, one of the great European Cup final goals.
After his previous final struggles, Ronaldo had promised it would be different this time as he arrived in Cardiff fresh and in form, having been rested for nine league games.
Rugged Juventus snuffed out Messi in this season's quarter-finals and initially it seemed they might be able to hold Ronaldo in check as well.
"And I'd be using the fact David De Gea is a live target for Real to the best of my advantage".
"This season was incredible again, last season was awesome".
The victory was Real's 12th in European Cup/Champions League history and was also the third time the Spanish champions have lifted the trophy in the last four years.
Rodriguez was not even included in the squad to face Juventus so his days in the Spanish capital seem numbered.
"But today we can say that we are a very good team and that we deserved to win the league and the Champions League. My family is happy and I am happy so yeah we will continue what we are doing".
Born among Marseille's toughest streets, Zidane said this week, "If you said I was going to live all of this when I was a child quite frankly I would never have believed, but here I am living it".
But the granite-like trio of Giorgio Chiellini, Andrea Barzagli and Leonardo Bonucci cracked after Juventus had been the better side in a first half that ended 1-1.
"We feel we are an awesome team and need to just keep doing what we are doing because I think we can win many more titles in the future".
Alex Sandro headed wide from a Dani Alves free-kick, but Juve's fire went out when Cuadrado was given his marching orders and substitute Asensio added to their misery with a late tap-in from Marcelo's cut-back.