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Saturday, June 3, 2017

Big Match Feature: Juve v Real

Champions League final pits the season's top scorers, holders Real Madrid, against a Juventus side who have conceded just three goals en route to Cardiff.
Both clubs have plenty of recent final experience to draw from.

Defending champions Madrid – bidding to become the first team to retain the trophy in the Uefa Champions League era – are in a third final in four years, having beaten city rivals Club Atlético de Madrid in both 2014 and 2016; Juventus, meanwhile, lost to FC Barcelona in the 2015 showpiece.

This match is a repeat of the 1998 final in Amsterdam, won 1-0 by Real Madrid against a Juventus side featuring current Merengues coach Zinédine Zidane. That gave the Spaniards the seventh of their record 11 European Cups.
Juve have won the trophy twice, in 1985 and 1996, but have lost in the final six times – more than any other club.
Juventus have won nine and drawn three of their 12 games in this season's competition, and are seeking to become the first team to lift the trophy unbeaten since Manchester United FC in 2007-08. United were the sixth club to win the Uefa Champions League without losing a match.

Madrid and Juve will both be competing in their sixth Uefa Champions League final, equalling AC Milan's record.
Madrid have won all five of their Uefa Champions League finals, a record number of wins, while Juve have lost the fixture more times than any other club – four. Indeed, their only victory was on penalties – against AFC Ajax in 1996.

FINAL PEDIGREE
Juventus
This is a ninth European Cup final appearance for Juventus, who have lost their last four. Overall their record is W2 L6:
1972-73: AFC Ajax 1-0 Juventus
1982-83: Hamburger SV 1-0 Juventus
1984-85: Juventus 1-0 Liverpool FC
1995-96: Juventus 1-1 AFC Ajax (aet, Juventus win 4-2 on pens)
1996-97: Borussia Dortmund 3-1 Juventus
1997-98: Juventus 0-1 Real Madrid CF
2002-03: Juventus 0-0 AC Milan (aet, Milan win 3-2 on pens)
2014-15: Juventus 1-3 FC Barcelona
The 2015 defeat by Barcelona in Berlin was Juve's sixth final reversal – setting an unwanted new record. They had previously been level with FC Bayern München and SL Benfica on five final losses.

Gianluigi Buffon is the sole survivor of Juventus' 2003 final appearance in their 2016-17 squad.
Buffon, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Barzagli and Claudio Marchisio all started the 2015 final for Juve, with Stefano Sturaro an unused substitute. Giorgio Chiellini missed out through injury.

Sami Khedira was part of the victorious Real Madrid team in 2014; he, Mario Mandžukic, a winner with Bayern the previous year, and Dani Alves (Barcelona 2009, 2011, 2015) could join the list of 13 players to win the Uefa Champions League with two different clubs.
Mandžukic and Juve's 2015 final goalscorer, Álvaro Morata, could both join the list of two players to score for different clubs in the European Cup final: only Velibor Vasovic (FK Partizan 1966, Ajax 1969) and Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United, Real Madrid 2014) have previously managed it.

Juventus have also played in four Uefa Cup finals – winning three (1977, 1990, 1993) and losing one (1995) – as well as the 1984 European Cup Winners' Cup final, which they won.
Real Madrid

Madrid have won a record 11 European Cups, and have triumphed in their last five finals. Overall their final record is W11 L3:
1955-56: Real Madrid 4-3 Stade de Reims Champagne
1956-57: Real Madrid 2-0 ACF Fiorentina
1957-58: Real Madrid 3-2 AC Milan (aet)
1958-59: Real Madrid 2-0 Stade de Reims Champagne
1959-60: Real Madrid 7-3 Eintracht Frankfurt
1961-62: SL Benfica 5-3 Real Madrid
1963-64: FC Internazionale Milano 3-1 Real Madrid
1965-66: Real Madrid 2-1 FK Partizan
1980-81: Liverpool FC 1-0 Real Madrid
1997-98: Real Madrid 1-0 Juventus
1999-00: Real Madrid 3-0 Valencia CF
2001-02: Real Madrid 2-1 Bayer 04 Leverkusen
2013-14: Real Madrid 4-1 Club Atlético Madrid (aet)
2015-16: Real Madrid 1-1 Club Atlético Madrid (aet; Real Madrid win 5-3 on penalties)

Madrid want to become the first side to make a successful Uefa Champions League title defence. They are the fifth reigning champions to return to the final the following season, the most recent being Manchester United in 2009.
No team have won the European Cup in successive seasons since Milan (1989, 1990)

Zidane is also attempting to become the first coach to win the Uefa Champions League two years running, while Sergio Ramos is seeking to become the first captain to lift the Uefa Champions League trophy in consecutive seasons.
Ronaldo (2008, 2014) and Ramos (2014, 2016) could become the first players to score in three Uefa Champions League finals. Ronaldo and Ramos are two of five players to have scored in two finals, along with Raúl González (2000, 2002), Samuel Eto'o (2006, 2009) and Lionel Messi (2009, 2011), a list that Marcelo and Gareth Bale – who both netted in 2014 – and Morata, on target for Juve in 2015, could join this season.

Dani Carvajal, Raphaël Varane, Ramos, Fábio Coentrão, Luka Modric, Ronaldo and Karim Benzema started the 2014 final for Madrid, with Marcelo and Isco coming off the bench and Pepe an unused substitute.

In 2016, Madrid's victorious final starting line-up included Keylor Navas, Pepe, Toni Kroos and Casemiro, plus Carvajal, Ramos, Marcelo, Modric, Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema, with Danilo, Isco and Lucas Vázquez making substitute appearances. Kiko Casilla, Nacho and James Rodríguez were unused replacements.

Should Madrid triumph in Cardiff, it will be the 10th Uefa Champions League win for a Spanish side – twice as many as the next highest-ranked nation, Italy.
This is Madrid's 29th Uefa final. In addition to their 14 European Cup appearances, they were Uefa Cup winners in 1985 and 1986 and European Cup Winners' Cup runners-up in 1971 and 1983. They lifted the Uefa Super Cup in 2002, 2014 and 2016 having lost in 1998 and 2000, and won the European/South American Cup in 1960, 1998 and 2002, losing in 1966 and 2000.

PREVIOUS MEETINGS
This will be the 19th Uefa competition meeting between Juventus and Real Madrid – all in the European Cup – and there is virtually nothing between the sides. Both clubs have eight wins and two draws, with Juve scoring 21 goals to Madrid's 18.

Their most recent encounters came in the 2014-15 semifinals, when Juve won 3-2 on aggregate. Goals from ex-Madrid striker Morata – now back with the Merengues – and Carlos Tévez gave Juve a 2-1 first-leg victory in Turin, despite Cristiano Ronaldo's reply.
The teams at the Juventus Stadium on 5 May 2015 were:
Juventus: Buffon, Lichtsteiner, Bonucci, Chiellini, Evra, Sturaro (Barzagli 64), Marchisio, Pirlo, Vidal, Morata (Llorente 78), Tévez (Pereyra 86).
Real Madrid: Casillas, Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo, Kroos, Isco (Hernández 63), James Rodríguez, Bale (Jesé 86), Ronaldo.

Ronaldo was again on target in Madrid, only for a 57th-minute equaliser from Morata to earn a 1-1 draw and take Juve into their first final for 12 years.
The line-ups at the Santiago Bernabéu on 13 May 2015 were:
Real Madrid: Casillas, Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo, Kroos, Isco, James Rodríguez, Bale, Benzema (Hernández 67), Ronaldo.

Juventus: Buffon, Lichtsteiner, Bonucci, Chiellini, Evra, Marchisio, Pirlo (Barzagli 79), Vidal, Pogba (Pereyra 89), Morata (Llorente 84), Tévez.
Juve are unbeaten in their last three meetings (W1 D2) with Real Madrid, since a 2-1 loss at the Bernabéu in the 2013-14 group stage, with Ronaldo scoring twice in the first 30 minutes. That loss is the Bianconeri's sole reverse in the last seven matches between the pair (W4 D2).
Ronaldo has hit the target in all four of his appearances against Juventus for Real Madrid – five goals in all.

Madrid have already claimed one European title at Juve's expense, Predrag Mijatovic's close-range effort in the 66th minute proving enough to win the 1998 Uefa Champions League final. • The sides at the Amsterdam Arena on 20 May 1998 were:

Juventus: Peruzzi, Pessotto (Fonseca 70), Torricelli, Montero, Iuliano, Di Livio (Tacchinardi 46), Deschamps (Conte 77), Davids, Zidane, Del Piero, Inzaghi.
Real Madrid: Illgner, Panucci, Hierro, Sanchís, Roberto Carlos, Redondo, Karembeu, Seedorf, Raúl (Amavisca 90), Morientes (Jaime Sánchez 81), Mijatovic (Šuker 90).

That was not the clubs' only tussle at a neutral venue. In their first tie, in the 1961-62 quarterfinals, each team won 1-0 away, meaning a replay in Paris. Madrid won that third game 3-1.
Juventus

The 2-1 victory against AS Monaco FC in their semifinal second leg (4-1 aggregate) was the first goal Juve had shipped in six knockout matches in this season's competition. It ended their run of not conceding at 690 minutes, the second longest in Uefa Champions League history behind Arsenal's 995 minutes in 2005-06.

Juventus have played 53 games against Spanish clubs in Uefa competition, with the record W19 D14 L20 F61 A55.
The Bianconeri have already tasted success against Liga opposition this term, drawing 0-0 at home to Sevilla FC on matchday one before a 3-1 away win in the group stage. In the quarterfinals, Barcelona were beaten 3-0 at home and on aggregate.

After that 1962 loss to Madrid, Juve's next tie against Spanish opponents resulted in a European trophy, with an away goals victory against Athletic Club in the 1976/77 Uefa Cup final (1-0 h, 1-2 a).
The Italian team's shoot-out record is W3 L3:
2-3 v AC Milan, 2002-03 Uefa Champions League final
4-2 v AFC Ajax, 1995-96 Uefa Champions League final
1-3 v Real Madrid CF, 1986-87 European Cup second round
4-2 v Argentinos Juniors, 1985 European/South American Cup final
1-4 v Widzew Lódz, 1980-81 Uefa Cup second round
3-0 v Ajax, 1977-78 European Cup quarter-final
Real Madrid
Before their 2-1 reverse at Atlético in the semifinal second leg (4-2 aggregate), Madrid were unbeaten in this season's competition (W8 D3) and had won all five fixtures in the knockout stage.

The Atlético loss halted a 16-match unbeaten run in European competition (W11 D5), since a 2-0 defeat at VfL Wolfsburg in last season's Uefa Champions League quarterfinal first leg.
Madrid have won their last four games against Italian opposition, going back to that 2015 semifinal against Juve. In this season's round of 16, they overcame SSC Napoli 3-1 both home and away.

The Merengues' record against Italian clubs is P69 W33 D11 L25 F104 A87.
Madrid's shoot-out record in European competition is W2 L2:
5-3 v Club Atlético de Madrid, 2015-16 Uefa Champions League final
1-3 v FC Bayern München, 2011-12 UEfa Champions League semifinals
3-1 v Juventus, 1986-87 European Cup second round
5-6 v FK Crvena zvezda, 1974-75 European Cup Winners' Cup quarterfinals
Coach and player links
Zidane represented Juve between 1996 and 2001, collecting two Serie A titles and playing in the 1997 and 1998 Uefa Champions League final defeats, the latter against Madrid.

Zidane's chipped penalty beat Buffon in the 2006 Fifa World Cup final in Berlin. The Frenchman was then sent off in extra time in what was his final game as a player, before Italy prevailed on penalties.
Massimiliano Allegri's Milan lost 2-0 at Madrid – Ronaldo registering the first goal – in the 2010-11 group stage, before a 2-2 draw at San Siro.

Gonzalo Higuaín played for Madrid between 2007 and 2013, notching 121 goals in 264 games in all competitions and landing three Liga titles.
Morata came through Madrid's youth system and then played for Juventus between 2014 and 2016, registering 15 goals in 63 league appearances.
Khedira was at Madrid between 2010 and 2015, winning the Uefa Champions League in 2014 and the Liga in 2012. He made 102 Liga outings, scoring six times.
Mandžukic played for Atlético Madrid in 2014-15, facing Real Madrid seven times (W4 D2 L1). His only defeat (0-1) came in the Uefa Champions League quarterfinal second leg.

Mandžukic won both Liga derbies against Real Madrid with Atlético, netting in a 4-0 home victory on 7 February 2015. He also struck in Atlético's 2-1 aggregate triumph in the Spanish Super Cup.

Dani Alves spent 14 seasons in Spain, six at Sevilla and the following eight with Barcelona; his record against Real Madrid was W22 D7 L13, scoring twice. At Sevilla he was a teammate of Ramos between 2003 and 2005, while he won three Uefa Champions Leagues at Barcelona, including the 2015 success over Juventus.

Mateo Kovacic played for FC Internazionale Milano between January 2013 and 2015; his record against Juve was W0 D2 L3.
Buffon, Bonucci, Barzagli, Chiellini and Marchisio played in Italy's 4-0 defeat by a Spain side containing Ramos in the Uefa EURO 2012 final in Kyiv.

Kroos, starting alongside Khedira in Germany's midfield, faced Buffon, Barzagli, Bonucci and Chiellini in the Uefa Euro 2016 quarterfinals. Bonucci scored a penalty in the 1-1 draw but missed in the shootout; both Barzagli and Kroos converted as Germany prevailed.
Chiellini got the first goal as Italy scalped Spain 2-0 in the Uefa Euro 2016 round of 16 to eliminate the holders.

Buffon, Bonucci and Barzagli also played for the Azzurri, with Ramos, Morata and Vázquez featuring for Spain.
Ramos slotted home his penalty as Spain outlasted Italy 7-6 on penalties in the 2013 Fifa Confederations Cup semifinal. Bonucci missed the decisive kick.

Benzema scored and also missed a penalty as France beat Lichtsteiner's Switzerland 5-2 in the 2014 World Cup group stage.
Morata struck for Spain in a 2-1 defeat by Croatia in the Uefa Euro 2016 group stage, Ramos missing a penalty.
Modric and Mandžukic were unused substitutes for Croatia, Marko Pjaca and Kovacic coming on in the second half.
International team-mates:
Toni Kroos & Sami Khedira (Germany)
Marcelo, Danilo, Casemiro & Dani Alves, Alex Sandro (Brazil)
James Rodríguez & Juan Cuadrado (Colombia)
Mateo Kovacic and Luka Modric & Mario Mandžukic, Marko Pjaca (Croatia)
Former club-mates:
Danilo, James Rodriguez & Alex Sandro (FC Porto, 2011–13)
Danilo & Alex Sandro (Santos FC, 2010–11)
Toni Kroos & Mario Mandžukic (FC Bayern München, 2012–14)
Mario Mandžukic & Luka Modric (GNK Dinamo Zagreb, 2007/08)
Karim Benzema & Miralem Pjanic (Olympique Lyonnais, 2008/09)
Dani Alves & Sergio Ramos (Sevilla FC, 2003–05)

MATCH FACTS
Juventus
Dani Alves is set for his 100th Uefa Champions League appearance, the 31st player to reach the milestone. Ramos and Buffon also brought up their centuries this season.
Juventus are bidding to become the ninth team to win the treble having wrapped up their third successive league and-cup double (all under coach Allegri).
Dani Alves and Bonucci struck as Juve beat SS Lazio 2-0 in the Coppa Italia final in Rome on 17 May. Four days later the Bianconeri clinched an Italian-record sixth consecutive championship with a game to spare.

Buffon won his eighth Scudetto (all with Juventus) this season, matching the record of Giuseppe Furino, Giovanni Ferrari and Virginio Rosetta.
All six of Juve's defeats this term have come away from home.
Dani Alves has netted six goals this season (including three in his last six outings), the 34-year-old's most prolific ever campaign.

Moise Kean, 17, became the first player born in the 2000s to score in Serie A on 27 May, with a late Juventus winner against Bologna FC on the last day of the season.
Higuaín has notched 32 goals for Juve in all competitions this term, good enough for a share of third on the club's all-time list alongside Alessandro Del Piero (1997-98) and David Trezeguet (2001-02). Only Felice Borel (37) and Ferenc Hirzer (35) managed more.

Cuadrado joined Juve from Chelsea FC on a permanent basis on 22 May, signing a three-year deal. Mandžukic has since agreed a contract extension until 2020.
Real Madrid
Ronaldo has registered 10 Uefa Champions League goals this season, just one less than leading scorer Lionel Messi. The Portuguese is looking to finish top of the pile for the fifth campaign running.

Ronaldo struck in the opening minute at Málaga CF on the last day of the Liga season as Madrid wrapped up their first Spanish title in five years on 21 May.
Madrid have scored in a record 64 consecutive games in all competitions.
Bale, who has been out since 23 April with a calf injury, is back in full training.
Ronaldo has bagged 14 goals in his last nine matches.

Twenty-two of Madrid's 106 Liga goals this term came from set pieces (not including penalties).
Six Madrid players reached double figures in goals this season: Ronaldo, Morata, Benzema, Isco, James and Sergio Ramos. Seven got as many as 10 in terms of assists.

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