Real Madrid will be aiming to become the first team in Champions League history to win back-to-back titles when they take on Juventus in the final on Saturday.
Since the reincarnation of Europe’s top competition in 1993, no team has ever managed to win the trophy in consecutive years, with AC Milan the last team to do so in 1989 and 1990 when the it was the European Cup.
Zinedine Zidane’s men won their 11th European trophy – their fifth Champions League – when they beat Atletico Madrid last season and victory against Juventus in Cardiff will see them make history by defending their title.
Speaking before the game, Zidane was confident that his side were prepared for the final, saying:
“We’re very happy to be in the final. We know how difficult it is to get there and we’ve worked very well during the year. We deserve to be in the final and the team is going in to it in very good physical shape and we’re confident.”
Juventus last won the competition in 2006 under Marcello Lippi and have been beaten on their past four appearances in the final including a 2015 loss to Barcelona.
The Serie A champions could also become the ninth team to achieve the treble of league, domestic cup and European titles and only the second Italian club in history to do so after Inter Milan in the 2009/10 season.
When asked about Juventus’ history in Champions League finals, manager Massimiliano Allegri said:
“Juventus haven’t lost six finals, we’ve been involved in eight! Making the final is incredible.
“There’s only one Champions League like there’s only one Superbowl and what matters is being in the right place at the right time. I’m delighted to be in the final and I feel fortunate to be leading a team out in Cardiff on Saturday.”
The big news for Real Madrid is the potential return of Gareth Bale, who has been sidelined since picking up another calf injury against Barcelona on April 23.
But the Wales international could start in his home city of Cardiff and it is likely to be a toss up between Bale and Isco for a starting spot.
Dani Carvajal is also expected to be available for selection with Zidane having a full squad to take to the Principality Stadium.
For Juventus, Mario Mandzukic is likely to be fit alongside Sami Khedira, who will battle with Miralem Pjanic and Claudio Marchisio for the two starting spots in midfield.
Left-winger Marko Pjaca and centre-back Daniele Rugani are expected to remain sidelined with injuries with Allegri having a fully fit squad to choose from otherwise
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