Juventus bar Zidane's path to history with Madrid

Lynette Rowe
June 3, 2017

Gianluigi Buffon, the 39-year-old Juventus veteran seeking his first Champions League title, takes on Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid star trying to win the title for the third time in four seasons. I don't know how he works, so we'll get to know each other once we introduce ourselves. The club, after all, has won the Champions League (European Cup) a record 11 times and possesses one of the world's most in-form footballers in Cristiano Ronaldo. He was in the Juventus side that lost against Real Madrid in the only previous Champions League final between both teams back in 1998.

Ronaldo, however, is unlikely to find much freedom against Juventus, a team with one of the best defenses in soccer. I play freely. I play on the wing, down the middle. The Argentine, who has drawn inevitable comparisons with Lionel Messi, has scored four goals in 10 European appearances this season.

"I've already played in such conditions in Amsterdam against Ajax and at the World Cup in 2002 and there's no real difference". Frenchman and Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann believes, "Juventus will win the Champions League and therefore Gigi Buffon the Ballon d'Or". The good thing is that they're going to be on the bench... He has been responsible for scoring or providing a goal once every 74 minutes in the Champions League this season and will be expected to make an impact this weekend.

"Of course I like to play more freely because it's a position in which I also play for Portugal, but obviously I also like the 4-3-3".

A poor return on the Champions League stages was what led to Higuain being sold by Madrid to Napoli in 2013. "Until the referee blows the whistle for the final time, there's always a chance to change the result, and that's what I always try to keep in mind".

Still, at the top of their game there can be no doubting the Brazilian full-backs are absolutely elite level both defensively and going forward, while Ramos' knack for big-game goals just gets him in ahead of the excellent Giorgio Chiellini.

Even that shock setback could not rattle Madrid, however, and they won the replay 3-1 in Paris.

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"Keylor Navas is an important player for Costa Rica, but also for Real Madrid, and has proved he could be there for many years". Whoever Real Madrid is now in the Champions League Final.

The former France star's calm approach has been welcome at a club notorious for volatile mood swings and he has been inspiring his players by educating them about the significance of making history at such a storied club.

This is the fifth time Ronaldo and Buffon will be facing each other in the Champions League. "We didn't feel confident enough because we had a number of years when we struggled in the Champions League and we didn't expect to win. but now it's completely different".

We know they're a side who defend well and concede very few goals, but we also know our weapons.

Is Cristiano Ronaldo a shoo-in?

Martin Keown admits he would be interested in seeing how Gareth Bale would do at Manchester United.

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