It is all down to the wire and there is no hiding place for Spanish giants, Real Madrid or the Old Ladies of Turin, Juventus. Juventus have “been building all season” for Real Madrid, who are bidding to become the first team to retain the UEFA Champions League and are “used to pressure” according to Zinédine Zidane.
- Juventus and Real Madrid meet in Cardiff final at 20:45 CET on Saturday, June 3, 2017
- Madrid aiming to become first team to retain UEFA Champions League
- Madrid looking to win third title in four years
- Juventus aiming for third European title, first since 1996
- Bianconeri have lost their last four UEFA Champions League finals
Juventus: Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Khedira, Pjanić; Dani Alves, Dybala, Mandžukić; Higuaín.
Out: Sturaro (thigh), Pjaca (knee); Doubt: Rugani (leg)
Real Madrid: Navas; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Modrić, Casemiro, Kroos, Isco; Benzema, Ronaldo.
Out: none; Doubt: none
Massimiliano Allegri, Juventus coach – How we’re going to tackle tomorrow’s game is with total tranquility and serenity. We’ve worked all year for this. It won’t be easy because Real Madrid are the defending champions, but we know what we’ve built over the season and we’ll try to give that little bit more than Real Madrid.
We have worked for a whole year. All the trophies, and all the victories we’ve had this year, have been a sort of training for tomorrow. We have to win. It’s one game; you need to analyse the game and see when to attack, when to defend and, if we’re able to do that, we have a chance. But we need to feel relaxed and confident that we’re able to win the trophy.
In 2015, we got to the final and deserved to, but at the same time perhaps we were not really strongly motived – maybe we didn’t feel confident enough after struggling for a few years in the Champions League. We didn’t get to the final by chance, but we didn’t expect to win. This year is different. Last year we had a good season in the Champions League and lost to Bayern in the last minute. We’ve been growing gradually. Now it’s completely different.
Zinédine Zidane, Real Madrid coach – We’ve done a lot of work all season, to win the Liga and to get to this final. What’s most important is that we’re all prepared, and we are. In football, you have to give it your all. I’ve lost many matches, so I know it’s possible to lose. It’s the same for Juventus. We’re going to try to play our game; we know we’re going to play against a great team. What everyone who likes football wants to see is to see a great final.
We know all about pressure at Real Madrid. We’re always favourites, but in reality in a final there are no favourites. We’re not favourites, nor are Juventus. It’s 50-50. But we’re in the final again, and everything is possible. I expect an open game on both sides. I’ve lived and been at Juventus, in Italy there’s the famous catenaccio, but Juve don’t just have that. I expect an open game.
Cristiano is a good person, because he’s worried; he worries about the others. What’s really important is what he does professionally. He always wants more. Even if it’s a training session, he wants to win there as well. What this gives the team is that he always wants to win. He has something inside; he’s a born leader, especially on the pitch.
We’re not going to change anything at all. We’re going to talk about the game, but that’s all. Nothing changes; nothing should change. We’re going to do things the way we always have done, and we’re going to see.
Juventus reporter’s view: Paolo Menicucci (@UEFAcomPaoloM) – I see this final as one of the most even in recent years. Madrid are the reigning champions, Juventus reached the final – and lost – two years ago, but the Bianconeri approach this final with a completely different self-confidence compared to 2015 in Berlin. I certainly do not expect Juve to sit back and defend against Madrid and I don’t see the first goal of the game as crucial as many predict as both sides have enough attacking power to overcome a setback.
Madrid reporter’s view: Joe Walker (@UEFAcomJoeW) – Madrid might have faltered somewhat in the group stage, coming second to Dortmund, but since the knockout phase they have been irresistible. This competition makes them come alive and they are gunning to make history. Zidane has shown his tactical prowess by switching things up and employing both a 4-3-3 and 4-4-2 setup and he has a big decision ahead of kick-off: does he start local lad Gareth Bale or stick with Isco?
Given the fitness situation of the Welshman I suspect the latter will get the nod and who else better to bring on from the bench than the speedy Bale – especially if Juventus are pushing forwards and susceptible on the counterattack?
Did you know? – Real Madrid claimed their seventh European Cup by beating Juventus in the 1998 UEFA Champions League final in Amsterdam, Predrag Mijatović scoring the only goal in the 66th minute. – Culled from UEFA site