The UCL is coming to an end, so let’s take a look at what might make this final match so special.
The male player with the most caps in soccer history, Gianluigi Buffon has brought much joy to the Juventus and the semi-finals of the Champions League was yet another great moment for him, in addition to being his 100th game in this competition. With a final result of 2-0 and then 2-1 winning over Monaco, only one goal has been made against Juventus during this year’s UCL and Buffon – named four times the best goalkeeper in the world- has had a lot to do with that.
The 39-year-old Tuscan player stated on more than one occasion that when he retires he wants people to think it’s a shame he’s doing so. Buffon, who has other passions as it is well known that he likes to play poker online and has also made several appearances at live events, is likely to leave soccer behind him next year, although he has often said that he intends to continue goalkeeping as long as he can. The Turin-based team, with an almost clean sheet behind it this year and a solid defence – along with Gigi – has very high odds of winning at the UCL’s final match against Real Madrid, which will take place on June 3 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
These two teams faced each other in 1998 in Amsterdam and on that occasion, the Montenegrin player Predrag Mijatović scored for the Spanish team, which took its seventh cup at the time (now eleven, having won in 2015-2016 after defeating its legendary local rival Atletico Madrid). The Zidane managed team, which has attended more Champions Leagues semi-finals than any other club (a title once held by Barça), lost by 2-1 against Atletico on May 10th, but that didn’t keep it from reaching the final along with Juventus.
The Italian team – which holds two European cups – is much stronger now than it was last year, when Bayern took it down before the quarterfinals (4-6). It should also be noted that on the 2015-2016 UCL edition, Real Madrid’s Ronaldo scored 16 goals, which have gone down to ten this year. Nonetheless, the Portuguese player has a clean record against Buffon, and nothing really tells us that things could go the other way on this occasion. The only element that might change the game is Gigi’s desire to take the cup home given that he has never played on the winning side of a Champions League throughout his 22-year-old career.
Despite the solid game that Juve has been showing this season, it is undeniable that Real Madrid, the current champion, is a strong team with a very powerful background and the will to not only win its 12th cup but also be the second team after Milan in 1990 to defend its title. So this is what’s at stake for two teams that will undeniably play an unforgettable match in Cardiff. If you want to know our full predictions for the final of the 2016-2017 Champions League, then you can read them here.