Real Madrid UEFA Super Cup
Real Madrid players celebrate with the UEFA Super Cup trophy after defeating SevillaReuters

James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos made their debuts, Gareth Bale was desperate to hog the limelight on his homecoming, but one man stood tall yet again, brushing away all of that World Cup 2014 disappointment to pick up from where he left off last season – scoring goals and inspiring Real Madrid to victories and trophies.

Cristiano Ronaldo was the man of the moment for Real Madrid, as the Spanish giants eased to a 2-0 victory courtesy a brace from their talisman.

It is not too often that Ronaldo gets pushed out of the spotlight ahead of a big European game (Ok, big might be stretching the importance of the game a little), but that was the case ahead of Tuesday night in Cardiff, with summer signings Rodriguez and Kroos getting plenty of attention while a lot of the spotlight also fell on Bale, as he returned home.

And all four of those superstars were involved for Real right from the start, with Ronaldo and Bale forming that potent three-pronged forward partnership with Karim Benzema, while Toni Kroos slotted into deep midfield alongside Luka Modric, with Rodriguez looking to provide the ammunition for that lethal front-three to pounce on to.

Kroos was his usual easy self, pulling the strings with Modric, who was especially impressive on the night. Rodriguez showed his talents in patches, and there is little doubt that given more time, the Colombia international will start scaring defences.

"Kroos played in the same position as Xabi Alonso with the same objective to pass the ball and when the chance arises, to use the speed of the forwards," Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti said.

"We had good control and Kroos played well; James had a few more difficulties but in the second half he did well like Kroos."

While Rodriguez was not his always sparkling self, he did have a big hand in the first goal, playing in Bale on the left with the Welshman then picking out Ronaldo perfectly with his cross for the Portuguese to stab home from close range on 30 minutes.

Real were the better side in the game, with Sevilla, the Europa League champions, only attacking sporadically, and they doubled their lead four minutes into the second period, with Ronaldo yet again putting that gifted feet of his to good use.

This time the provider was Benzema, who found Ronaldo on the edge of the penalty box, with the 29-year-old then deciding to swing that left boot of his with full power and forcing the ball past goalkeeper Beto.

"Cristiano's performance was fantastic," Ancelotti gushed. "He was the match winner, the best player on the pitch and won the match with two fantastic goals. He played really well. The whole team played a good game, especially considering we've not had much time to prepare."

The game was pretty much done with that goal, and the icing on the UEFA Super Cup cake was nearly added late in the piece when Rodriguez saw his strike brilliantly kept out by Beto.

However, a thoroughly satisfying night for Real Madrid, nonetheless, with the European champions already looking well capable of being the first team to defend their crown in the Champions League era.

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