Kroos: Real Madrid have no magic recipe for success

"We're optimistic, but it doesn't seem right to me that Juventus have been branded favourites because Real have won two Champions League titles in the past years", Allegri said Monday.

"It's my philosophy, and I chose it because I have such a good squad", Zidane said.

"Finishing on 91 points isn't easy, neither was winning the third (successive) Italian Cup, and it won't be easy to win the Champions League", Allegri said.

"Juve play well in both formations, we'll try to hurt our opponents and then we'll see what happens". It means everybody is switched on and everybody will accept team selection decisions that are made.

Bale has not played since April 23, when he had to come off in the first half of El Clasico, and he admitted he may have rushed his return following an operation in November. Isco has thrived in Bale's absence.

"Is this our most hard final?" It's not as clear-cut as it is in the media in Spain.

"It's the last game of the season, the most important one", Zidane said. The first XIs are very equal in terms of quality, but with a contrasting style.

Real Madrid can make history by becoming the first team to retain the Champions League and complete a first La Liga and Champions League double in 59 years in the process.

It will also be crucial, said Chiellini, for Juventus to avoid another tense start to the final that, two years ago, saw nerves creep in following a fourth-minute opener by Ivan Rakitic.

Not only has Juventus been more creative and more unsafe going forward, but it has also remained solid at the back. I'll always be a Real Madrid fan because the club is my life. What he has done is just magnificent.

Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon pulled off a fantastic stop to deny Andres Iniesta moments before Dybala's second. He has changed the way he plays.

Buffon has done the same, after he was 30, and that is just so hard.

Buffon, 39, is aiming to win Europe's top club competition for the first time when Juve face Real Madrid the decider in Cardiff on Saturday.

Ronaldo, therefore, knows exactly what it takes to be European champions and while a fierce tactical battle is sure to be fought, the Portuguese also believes it is a matter of mindset and will.

One of those the Montenegrin shared the field with at the Amsterdam Arena almost two decades ago will have a major part to play in Cardiff. And there's one club that is waiting to see if the Welshman starts on the bench against Juventus before launching the offensive for him - Manchester United. He can make some mistakes here and there throughout the course of a whole season and yet he always delivers on the big stage.

  • Julie Sanders