CARDIFF: Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as a rampant Real Madrid side, featuring the most expensive strike force ever assembled, powered to a 2-0 win over Sevilla in an all-Spanish UEFA Super Cup.
It was a thoroughly deserved victory before a 33,500 crowd at the Cardiff City Stadium in the traditional curtain-raiser to the European club season.
Europa League holders Sevilla battled well but were outclassed by the Champions League winners.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men dominated from start to finish with Ronaldo producing two sublime finishes to beat keeper Beto, his Portugal team mate, after 30 and 49 minutes while Sevilla were restricted to just two chances.
The first opportunity for Sevilla came after 20 minutes when Vitolo forced Iker Casillas to make a block at the near post and the second arrived in the closing stages when Grzegorz Krychowiak prompted an acrobatic save from the experienced keeper.
Real were superior in defence, midfield and attack with Ronaldo showing no sign of the knee injury that blighted his 2014 World Cup campaign in Brazil.
After being presented with the Man of the Match trophy by his former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, Ronaldo told reporters: “It’s the first official match of the season and I was not sure how I would feel.
“But I felt good and had no problems, I didn’t feel any pain.
“We realised it was going to be a hard game but we played well, created more opportunities and played better and with more intensity and we were the worthy winners.”
Benzema and Kroos were involved in the second goal and Ronaldo supplied a thunderous left-foot shot that Beto got a hand to but could not stop.
Bale, playing a club match in Cardiff for the first time in eight years, was cheered every time he touched the ball.
The closest he came to a goal was in the dying minutes when he struck a fierce effort that Beto saved well.