Since 1955, the Champions League Final has been the most prestigious title to hold in all of club soccer. Thirty-two teams narrowed down to two finalists, Real Madrid of Spain and Italy’s Juventus: these two giants of European soccer will battle it out on June 3rd at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. Hoping to go back-to-back, Real Madrid will be defending their title, while Juventus will be hoping to lift the trophy after losing to Barcelona in the final two years ago.
Eleven-time champions, Real Madrid had a relatively easy road to the final with only one loss in the eight months they had to get there. Captain Sergio Ramos has been leading the team to success and has been a key part of it both defensively and in the attack. The thirty-one year old, who has been with the club since 2005, has won 15 major trophies, one of them being the World Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo, the poster boy for Real Madrid and arguably the best player in the world, has been a nightmare for Madrid’s opponents to deal with. The forward has bagged himself ten goals in this year’s competition, making him second in the top goal scorer list. Madrid’s fans will be hoping for him to carry them to yet another Champions League title.
One team lies in Madrid’s way: Juventus. They have reached their second Champions League final in three years with a comfortable win over AS Monaco, the leaders of the French League. Conceding only three goals in 12 games, the team’s defense has been near to perfect. The oldest player out of both teams is thirty-nine year old Gianluigi Buffon of Juventus. The goalkeeper has been with the team since 2001 and has had 487 first-team appearances. One hundred and one of those have been in the Champions League; however, Buffon has yet to lift the trophy. If Juventus wins, this would be their first Champions League title in 21 years.
This year’s UEFA Champions League final is shaping up to be a very emotional one for both teams and their players. Real Madrid is looking to go back-to-back, which hasn’t been accomplished by any team in 26 years, and Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos will be looking to add to their extensive trophy collections. On the other hand, Juventus will be hoping to cause an upset and win their first trophy in 20 years with the help of team veteran, Gianluigi Buffon. Both teams will meet on June 3rd in Cardiff, Wales to fight for the most prestigious title in club soccer.