Spanish heavyweights favourites for Champions League final — Real Madrid legends

We must treat this week like we are preparing for a normal match.

Ramos's thirst for winning is insatiable, and at the Champions League final in Cardiff he will target an 18th major honour for club and country.

Bale has not featured for Madrid since last month's El Clasico defeat to Barcelona due to a calf injury.

"On top of that I think they are lucky to have Gianluigi Buffon", he said of Juventus's 39-year-old goalkeeper.

The Welshman could well be a key element to keep Dani Alves in check, but if he can't recover for the duel, Zinedine Zidane's team have other satisfactory options to cover for Bale.

"We both went into the final as favorites..." Indeed, he appears to expect that.

"If I had to pick out a match on our Champions League run, I'd choose the Barcelona tie", Chiellini said at a press conference.

"If I'm called upon to start, I will start, obviously", said Bale. "The players are motivated and I'm only interested about that". "A final in the city where I was born and we are just one step away from winning the trophy".

Obviously, if I am picked to start, I will start. I'll always be a Real Madrid fan because the club is my life. "But the most important thing is that we don't think too far ahead; we have a very hard and important game ahead of us and we have to do everything we can to win it". But he is already recovered from his injury. The time out of action has at least allowed him to focus more fully on a more fundamental, underlying problem: the rehabilitation of the ankle, which was still incomplete.

"I have the Real Madrid DNA, that's for sure". It may be Bale's last involvement with Real as he is wanted at Manchester United and they are prepared to pay any price to secure his signing. "You play or train, then switch off and relax".

"There is a lot of pressure but I take it positively". Even when I came back, I was taking tablets to get through games and training. He always finds the right solutions and substitutions, knows how to read the game and understands what's happening in various moments of the match. But we've got to come back with the cup. But obviously that wasn't the case. After we were able to knock out big teams like Atlético or Bayern, for this reason we deserve to be in the final. And it is massively special for me personally, as it is where I was born, where I grew up. A muscle injury kept him from playing in the final stages of the Spanish league, and in the second leg of the Champions League semifinal.

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has called for "one final effort" from his "fantastic" players to complete a flawless season for the club. "At the start of the season he was unbelievable, he was one of our best players".

"They needed time... The picture changed and Higuaín's role was more alone, and Dybala had to adapt himself to that".

  • Julie Sanders