Real Madrid 2 Fiorentina 1: Banned Ronaldo nets stunner in Trofeo Santiago Bernabeu
The suspended Cristiano Ronaldo vented his frustrations with a stunning strike as Real Madrid defeated Fiorentina 2-1 in the Trofeo Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.
The star forward has missed the last two matches, including his team's opening game of the 2017-18 Liga season, and is banned from competitive domestic action for three further games after being sent off and then pushing the referee in the first leg of the Supercopa de Espana against Barcelona.
While all eyes were understandably on Ronaldo in this exhibition game, links between the past and future of Spanish and Italian football were also apparent by glancing at the team sheets, as Federico Chiesa and Giovanni Simeone, the offspring of former Azzurri international Enrico Chiesa and Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone respectively, started for Fiorentina.
Young goalkeeper Luca Zidane was introduced by his father for the hosts in the second half, while Ianis Hagi, son of Romania great Gheorghe Hagi, who played for both Barcelona and Madrid, came on in the second half for La Viola.
It was the less storied figure of Jordan Veretout, rescued last month from an unhappy spell at Aston Villa, who opened the scoring for Fiorentina after just four minutes, stabbing a firm finish from the top of the box past Madrid goalkeeper Kiko Casilla.
It did not take long for Los Blancos' stars to assert themselves, though.
The in-form Marco Asensio linked up with the man he has been shining in the absence of, playing in Ronaldo down the left of the opposition penalty area. The Portugal star dragged his shot across the face of goal and Borja Mayoral was on hand to fire home from close range.
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadrid) August 23, 2017
In the 33rd minute it was Ronaldo who grabbed the spotlight, charging down the left wing, cutting inside and beating defender German Pezzella before firing a brilliant finish into the far top corner of the net, leaving Marco Sportiello helpless.
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) August 23, 2017
Madrid continued to dominate without forcing a third before half-time, when the beleaguered visitors offered their starting XI some much needed respite by changing the entire team.
Zidane initially sufficed himself with just three swaps, including the introduction of son Luca in place of Casilla.
Star playmaker Isco meanwhile came on for Asensio in the 62nd minute and there were also cameos from Casemiro, Gareth Bale and Toni Kroos, although neither side proved able to add to the scoreline in the time remaining.