Real Madrid, Juventus clash in Champions League final

Ross Houston
June 2, 2017

Two days before Real Madrid and Juventus clash in the Champions League final, the women's showpiece will be played in Cardiff on Thursday with holders Lyon taking on French rivals Paris Saint-Germain. For the Old Lady, it's a chance to be the first Italian side to complete a treble since Inter Milan did so in 2009/10, whilst they're seeking to win their first Champions League since 1996.

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique described their defence as a "mountain" after their quarter-final loss.

The match will be played at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, and for Stephen Appiah, he would have been present to witness the historic finals if not for his Black Stars duties.

The veteran Brazilian fullbacks have thrived with their clubs this season. Of course, they have players in attack which can make the difference.

It was the first league title for coach Zinedine Zidane, the French legend who took over Madrid for his first head-coaching job less than 1½ years ago.

This will be the 19th meeting for the two clubs, all in this competition, and each have eight wins and three draws. Standing in his way are a Real Madrid side looking to become first side to win back-to-back Champions League's in the modern era.

"I already admired him as a player", Ronaldo said, "and now I admire him even more as a coach because he's a very positive person - a hard worker and very respectful towards the players".

The Bianconerri will be involved in their second final in three seasons against Real Madrid.

So Real edge this 6-5, but who will come out on top in this season's Champions League final? In all the competition, Buffon has conceded three goals, so they are the best defense in the tournament, with the BBC (Bonucci, Barzagli and Chiellini).

Gonzalo Higuain to score - The former Real Madrid striker bagged two against Monaco in the semi-finals and can take advantage of his former side's generosity at the back. He has been playing very well the last few weeks. Madrid hadn't gone five straight seasons without a league title since 1981-85.

Real Madrid is set as the favorite in Sports Interaction's soccer odds.

"I'm in better shape physically than in other seasons, " the 32-year-old Ronaldo said.

This will perhaps be Juve legendary goalkeeper and skipper Gianluigi Buffon's last shot at a Champions League medal to add to his glittering array of silverware after twice suffering heartache in the final.

Victory for Zidane would be unbelievable, considering that this is his first full season as a manager in top-flight football. "The coach will tell us what is best against this team on Saturday".

In stark contrast, Los Blancos have only kept a clean sheet once in this season's Champions league campaign.

Manager Zinedine Zidane was only appointed in January previous year, yet could add a second European Cup to this term's La Liga win - not bad for a first 18 months in management.

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