'Born leader' Ronaldo will drive Real to Champions League glory: Zidane

But, at the age of 39, the World Cup victor finally has a chance to win the trophy he dreams of when Massimiliano Allegri's side face holders Real Madrid under the roof in Cardiff.

The Los Blancos skipper told the prematch news conference at the Principality Stadium that reaching three finals in four years had been "unimaginable" when the club spent 12 years waiting for its "Decima" European Cup, but now they were looking forward to showing what they could do again.

"We do have trust in our capabilities for tomorrow", Buffon, in his 16th season at Juventus, said. But, at the age of 39, the World Cup victor finally has a chance to win the trophy he dreams of. That was a game he kept a clean sheet in for 120 minutes and made two penalty shoot out saves - only to pick up a runners up medal.

"I've known the coach for many years. He is the best in the world", Carlos commented. Three finals in four years is wonderful, nobody imagined that.

He notched another treble against Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals to take his tally to 103 and move nine clear of his eternal rival, Lionel Messi, something he's attributed to belief, Goal writes.

The Real Madrid manager had been asked whether he or Cristiano Ronaldo would be the star if they were playing in the same Madrid side and the Frenchman didn't hesitate when he replied: "Cristiano.he scores goals". We are proud to have him in charge of this hard dressing room.

On the other sideline will be a man who has achieved more in 18 months than some coaches do in an entire career. "For us he is a key element of the ship".

There is no doubting that, of course, as the Portuguese superstar has developed into one of the deadliest strikers in the game, a fact underlined by the incredible statistic of him scoring 40 or more goals every season for the last seven years.

"[Those late goals] have been a reality in recent years", he said. "I've lived and been at Juventus". At Madrid, our spirit obliges us to fight until the end, always think that it can be possible, that it is not lost until the referee whistles the end of the game.

"All I can say is we worked for a year and all the trophies and wins we've had this year have been training for tomorrow".

The 44-year-old, who enjoyed a trophy-laden 11-year spell at the Santiago Bernabeu, also expressed hope that Juventus ace Paulo Dybala, who has been linked with a host of top clubs, will jump ship to Real Madrid in the near future.

"If we can do that, with a bit of luck, we shall have a possibility but we need to be convinced and confident". "That will not bother us at all, people can say whatever they want". But we know what we've done and what we've built up to this point.

Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC.

  • Julie Sanders