UEFA Champions League final: Key players
Juventus will face Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League final at Cardiff Stadium on Saturday.
Real Madrid have the tool needed to beat Juventus and conquer the Champions League title, but coach Zinedine Zidane is the main man to give them freedom to operate if he wants to be successful in Cardiff Stadium and this are the key players you may need to watch.
1) Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo doesn't need to play well to have a big impact on the game as he is a threat on set pieces and also in open play. The Portuguese international can score goals out of nowhere, and has an impressive total of 10 goals in UEFA Champions League are not enough to describe the invaluable talent he has.
2) Marcelo Vieira
There is no other player like Marcelo, he is creative and has the ability to catch the defenders off guard. The 29-year-old is extremely valuable, he can change the game even if he comes off the bench. The Brazil international will be a key player if Los Blancos want to dismantle Allegri's defence.
Isco is not expected to start, but the Spain international can come off from the bench and create chances, he has the ability to dribble past opponents without needing space to run, and this is something Zidane can use if he can't find the way to create chances.
4) Luka Modric
Modric has skill and organizational ability at the service in the midfield, but he can also help out with defensive tasks and plays the ball out from the back to begin the attack. He is a versatile player who provides plenty of options for the team.
5) Sergio Ramos
Since arriving at Madrid Ramos has been a key player and has played both central defence and as a right back. The Spain international strength has made him the revelation of La Liga in the 2004/05 season. His defence abilities are completed by his speed, his power shooting and his goalscoring instincts.
6) Alvaro Morata
Morata who came through the madridista youth academy, a natural goal scorer and proof of that is the fact that he has been the top scorer in all of his teams. The 25-year-old has powerful running and eye for goal make him an important player for the present and the future.
Juventus became the first team to loss against Real Madrid in 1998 under Marcello Lippi, since then the Old Lady have had the confidence to boast their defence and winning the UEFA Cup as they defeated Barca to enter into the final. This are the key players who might change the game at Cardiff stadium under Massimiliano Allegri.
1) Gianluigi Buffon
has never won a Champions League trophy and this might be his best chance. During Allegri's second season as Juventus boss, the club went through one of the deepest crises of the past years. The Bianconeri started out with two Serie A losses and bad results continued until a 1-0 defeat by Sassuolo, when, according to reports, Buffon lost his usual charm and told the team off. Buffon isn't just a goalkeeper for Juve, but rather a motivational speaker, an authoritative figure who is rarely questioned.
He's played with and against some of the greatest footballers in Europe and has never failed to disappoint, especially now that many youngsters look at him as the epitome of a leader.
2) Leonardo Bonucci
Bonucci has made himself necessary for Allegri's star, he is best known as one third of the defending trio alongside Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli, his contribution to the club over the past year has made him outshine the other two. The Italian centre-back has proved crucial to Allegri in defence and in building up his side's offensive actions.
3) Paulo Dybala
When the 23-year-old Argentina international arrived at the Turin club in summer 2015, everyone knew of his potential. But few expected he would have turned out to be Juventus' best transfer since Andrea Pirlo, who wore the number 21 jersey before him.
An impressive total of 19 goals during his first season are not enough to describe the invaluable talent he is.
Humble yet aware of his talents, Dybala didn't have to wait long to make his mark on the first team.
4) Mario Mandzukic
Mandzukic is a hardworking player selflessly shouldered and his much of attacking, he has the strength and ability to handle critical situation off and on the pitch.
5) Dani Alves
Once a Barcelona man, Alves will look to inflict more ‘pain’ on Real Madrid, as he faces one of Barcelona’s fiercest rivals.
Since the UEFA Champions League replaced the erstwhile European Cup, Real Madrid are only the third side after Ajax and Manchester United to have won the tournament and reach the final in the subsequent year. If Real beat Juventus, they will be first team to defend their title since the tournament was rechristened and the first team since Milan in 1990 to do so.