The much anticipated 2016/17 champions league final between real Madrid and Juventus takes centre-stage on the 3rd of June at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. it is a clash between two European giants champions league former winners.
The old lady of Turin brushed aside Monaco 4-1 on aggregate in the semi-finals while opponent real Madrid sent city neighbours Athletico Madrid packing to make it to the final.
The last time Juventus made it to the final was in 2014/15 were they played yet another team from Spain in Barcelona, losing 3-1. this encounter will be the lily whites 3rd final in four years and the 2nd consecutive final in two years. at least one Spanish team has made it to the money-spinning Champions League final in the past four years in Barcelona, Real Madrid and Athletico Madrid.
The most decorated team in the money-spinning Champions League history is real Madrid with eleven titles, closely followed by AC Milan with seven titles, opponents Juventus has two champions league trophies to their name. the final will be real Madrid’s 15th being losing finalist on three occasions, Juventus has played in eight finals losing a record six times.
Real Madrid coached by former Juventus and real Madrid player Zinedine Zidane will be looking to become the first team in the new champions league format to win it back to back, something they achieved in the old format.
Madrid will have their work cut out as the turin based side have the meanest defence leading to the final, conceeding just 3 goals compared to the 16 conceded by madrid, the spanish side on the other hand have a more potent attack, scoring 32 goals compared to the italians 21 goals.
Both teams won their domestic titles. with juventus being crowned italian champions beating roma to second place and real winning in spain with arch-rivals barcelona coming a close second. the old lady of turin however did the domestic double defeating lazio in the coppa italia final.
All eyes will be on cristiano ronaldo. the four time footballer of the year has regained his scoring touch and peaked towards the end of the season, helping the spanish side to the finals, scoring 16 of the spanish sides 32 goals this season, scoring a hat-trick in the quarter-final and semi-final matches against bayern munich and athletico madrid respectively
There will be a pleasant home coming for welsh speedstar and real’s most expensive signing in gareth bale who looks to feature in the final after weeks of being out injured, the welsh born winger will however start the match on the bench
Portuguese defender pepe remains out for this encounter, meaning he will be the onl absentee for both teams with sami khedira and mario madzukic both of juventus set to be available following minor injuries.
Predicted juventus eleven:
GK: Gianlugi Buffon; Defenders: Dani Alves, Alex Sandro, Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci; Midfielders: Miralem Pjanic, Sami Khedira, Juan Cuadrado, Paulo Dybala; Strikers; Mario Mandzukic, Gonzalo Higuain.
Predicted real madrid eleven:
GK:Keylor Navas; Defenders: Dani Carvajal, Marcelo, Raphael Varane Sergio Ramos; Midfielders: Toni Kroos, Casemiro, Luka Modric, Isco; Strikers: Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo