Real Madrid and Juventus will go head-to-head to determine the winners of the Champions League in Cardiff this evening.
The battle, which will be watched by hundreds of millions around the world, will pit one of the most vaunted attacks in Europe against the stingiest defence.
It promises to be a cracker.
There’s more riding on this game than simply being crowned the champions of the continent. Madrid are aiming to become the first team in history to retain the title since its rebrand in 1992, while Juventus are hoping to make up for their defeat to Barcelona in the 2015 final.
There’s also the Gianluigi Buffon factor. There are countless neutrals who want to see the Italian side prevail simply to see the legendary goalkeeper, 39, lift the big-eared trophy for the first time in his career.
Buffon faces the unenviable task of trying to stop Cristiano Ronaldo. The Real Madrid forward has scored 10 goals in the competition this season and few would bet against him adding to his tally.
Zidane: 'Ronaldo was better than I was'
Speaking to the media on Friday, Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane said there was no doubt as to who the bigger star is between himself and Ronaldo.
“Ronaldo, no doubt,” said Zidane, via the Independent. “He scores goals and that’s most important.
“I used to play quite well but scoring goals was not my speciality. I was better at assists. I scored some important goals but not many.
“He’s a good person. He worries about the others. I would like to insist that what’s important is what he does professionally. He always wants more.”
5-a-side Champions League final team
To the surprise of absolutely nobody, Ronaldo is included in the combined Champions League final five-a-side team.
Throughout the week, GiveMeSport has been running polls to determine which Madrid and Juventus players would feature in a dream five-a-side lineup.
The results are as follows.
Goalkeeper | Gianluigi Buffon
The Juve ‘keeper beat out Keylor Navas rather convincingly. Buffon received 34,000 votes compared to Navas’ 3,200.
Defender | Sergio Ramos
The Madrid captain emerged victorious in a vote between himself, Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and Raphael Varane.
Midfielder | Luka Modric
Modric’s terrific performances have been rewarded with a place in the team. He finished above Toni Kroos, Miralem Pjanic and Claudio Marchisio.
Forwards | Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala
Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema were simply no match for Ronaldo and Dybala.
Now that’s a team that would win any five-a-side tournament.
Who would be in your CL final 5-a-side team? Let us know in the comments section below!
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