The 2017 Champions League final in Cardiff sees two of the world’s biggest football clubs clash, with Real Madrid and Juventus set to battle for glory.
The respective sides have been in excellent form over recent months and looks odds-on to secure domestic success, with a difference in style set to define the European final.
Madrid’s attacking prowess has been on show in previous rounds with impressive wins over Bayern Munich and cross-city rivals Atletico Madrid.
Juventus and their success over the last five years has been based around a steadfast defensive effort, but the Bianconeri now also boast some stellar talent in the final third.
While the game in Cardiff will be categorised as an attacking powerhouse against the best defensive club team on the planet, there is so much more to this Champions League final.
It pits Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane against a team he represented as a player, with the French manager seemingly en route to become as successful off the pitch as he was on it.
However, he comes up against a seasoned rival that must be given real credit, with Max Allegri taking Juventus to his second Champions League final since replacing Antonio Conte in Turin.
The Spaniards will go into the game as slight favourites given the match-winners in their side, with current Ballon d’Or holder Cristiano Ronaldo their undoubted talisman. On top of this, Zidane has found a nice blend in his team of late by brining Isco back into the mix, while the Los Blancos coach has shown tactical versatility to get through previous rounds by tweaking his tactics.
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Betting odds aside, the majority of the neutrals will want Juventus to win as Gianluigi Buffon looks to cap an amazing career with European glory, while the Italian defence has shown the ability to blunt Barcelona already this season over 180 minutes.
However, the Serie A champions are dark horses this term due to the presence of a more-rounded midfield and attack, with the Turin side no longer just the meanest defence.
In Paulo Dybala Juventus possess a player that looks capable of going right to the sport’s pinnacle, while his strike partner Gonzalo Higuain has a point to prove against a club that deemed him surplus to requirements.
With Miralem Pjanic pulling the strings in midfield and Dani Alves adding a touch of experience and the winning edge, this is the Italians’ best chance of becoming European champions for a long time.
The midfield will be an essential component that dictates the eventual winner, with Toni Kroos and Luka Modric looking to win the lion’s share of the possession and supply the danger men in the Madrid forward line.
However, defensive shield Casemiro could well be the man that decides whether his side win or lose, with the Brazilian tasked with stopping the new-found offensive creativity and guile in the Juventus ranks.
The teams that will contest the final make it a worthy swan song to any competition, with world-class players and so much history on both sides of the divide.
The neutrals will hope for goals galore but one thing is assured – two of the world’s best football teams are set to take to the pitch, in what should be a glowing advertisement for the sport.