CARDIFF - Cristiano Ronaldo upstaged new teammates Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez and homecoming hero Gareth Bale as Real Madrid beat Sevilla 2-0 in Cardiff yesterday to win the UEFA Super Cup.
World Cup stars Kroos and Rodriguez were making their Madrid debuts, while Bale was returning to his hometown, but it was Ronaldo, characteristically, who hogged the spotlight with a brace in the Welsh capital.
The Portugal captain claimed a 30th-minute opener from Bale's cross then slammed home a second goal shortly after halftime to earn the European champions what could be the first of six trophies this season.
"We knew this would be a complex game, but we played well and created goal-scoring opportunities," said Ronaldo, who was named man of the match by his former Manchester United mentor Alex Ferguson.
On Kroos and Rodriguez, he added: "These are two crucial players for us. They played well and they helped the team win this important trophy."
While 80 million euros ($F207million) new recruit Rodriguez had a modest debut, Madrid's new-look attack — which cost roughly 310 million euros ($F802million) to assemble — showed ominous flashes of quality.
Victory gave Madrid only their second Super Cup, after a maiden triumph in 2002.