The world’s most watched sporting event, the Champions League final in Cardiff, Wales, is quickly approaching. Two of the best teams in Europe, Real Madrid and Juventus have survived to this point of competition. The flashy dynamic Madrid attack against the wall that is the Juve defense. The defending champs come in oozing with confidence and have to be considered favorites on Saturday.
1. They Know How To Get it Done
Last season, the men from Madrid were victorious in penalties over cross town rival Atletico Madrid. Juventus fell to Barcelona in the finals the season before that and have not been crowned champions of Europe since 1996. Despite massive successes domestically, Gianluigi Buffon and Co. have never hoisted a European title. Only Sami Khedira, Dani Alves and Mario Mandzukic have tasted European glory among Juve’s current roster.
Real Madrid on the other hand, are full of winners. With the majority of the team leftover from last years triumph and 2014’s title, experience in big games could be the difference. Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United) and Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich) have each won an additional CL title to the two they have in Madrid.
2. They Have the Reigning Ballon D’Or Winner
Cristiano Ronaldo…while there may be debate to whether he is THE best player on the planet, there is no debate that he will be the nest player out on the pitch in Cardiff on Saturday. Despite not having a great season statistically, nobody has been more clutch in the biggest competition in club football than CR7 himself.
After his five goals in two matches helped Real by Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals, Ronaldo scored an astonishing hat trick at the Bernebeau to all but extinguish Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their semifinal. Ronaldo is well rested and his combination of speed, jumping ability, and positioning still makes him the most difficult man to mark on the pitch and will drive Juve defenders crazy.
3. They Have Greater Squad Depth
Juventus may in fact have the second best squad depth in all of Europe. With players such as Mandzukic, Juan Cuadrado, Andrea Barzagli and Claudio Marchisio being frequently rested throughout Champions League , Max Allegri will have plenty of options on Saturday.
However, the one team Juve can’t match up to are Los Blancos themselves. With Gareth Bale likely to start the match on the best due to fitness, Zinedine Zidane will have a star studded bench in Cardiff. Joining Bale will likely be Alvaro Morata, Marco Asensio, James Rodriguez, Raphael Varane/Pepe and Lucas Vasquez. All of the aforementioned Real substitutes could start on almost any team in Europe. If Saturday’s match rolls into extra time like last year, Real could have the upper hand.
“From Our Haus to Yours”