Juventus bar Zidane's path to history with Madrid

The stage is set for the biggest club football showpiece on the planet where only one side can make another permanent mark on the game's history books.

Others include Juve keeper Gianluigi Buffon potentially becoming the oldest player to lift the trophy or Real coach Zinedine Zidane, twice a Champions League runner-up with Juve, contriving to break the hearts of those who once idolised him.

Ronaldo has gotten the best of Buffon so far, scoring five goals in his four games against the Italy goalkeeper. Making the final is incredible. He has previously won the Champions League with Manchester United in 2008. Still, I'm only thinking about the Final. Seeing him finally get his hands on the Champions League trophy - the only prize that has evaded him, on Saturday, would be quite special.

"It's going to be a great game, two giants of world football, certainly European football", he said on BT Sport.

While Real Madrid have a scary attack, when in full flow, and Juventus a near-impenetrable defence, the teams aren't one dimensional.

"Probably the emotions I might feel might be different to any other guy who is younger than me or any other player like Dani", Buffon said, sat next to three-time Champions League victor Dani Alves at the pre-match press conference.

It looks like Cristiano Ronaldo's four-year reign as UEFA Champions League season top scorer was about to be over, but the great one strikes back in the knockouts and now just a goal away to catch-up with rival Lionel Messi.

Livewire Isco is likely to get the nod in the starting line-up, but if the scriptwriters get their way, the local boy will come off the bench to spark a fiesta the likes of which Cardiff has never seen before.

The two played together in Madrid from 2007-13 and Higuain said they still maintain contact.

That would mean the only real selection dilemma the Italian has is whether to field Sami Khedira or Claudio Marchisio next to Miralem Pjanic in midfield.

Juventus has already collected a sixth consecutive Serie A title.Madrid and Juventus will both be looking to add continental glory to their domestic titles after seeing off Atletico Madrid and Barcelona respectively in the Champions League semi-finals.They were pursuing the same milestone in 2015, when they lost 3-1 to Barcelona in Berlin, but coach Massimiliano Allegri says his streetwise side are now ready to take the final step.

Buffon has conceded just once in the knockout phase up until now and with the able support of the trio of Barzagli, Bonucci and Chiellini, the Italian will have to produce another magical performance to lead his side to the Champions League trophy.

"I would obviously like to thank all my team-mates, the coach, all the staff and all the Real Madrid fans." .

"I'm at the best level physically as I have in the last few seasons because I have played less".

"Winning would be the right end to a fairy tale and people like fairy tales", Buffon said on Friday, admitting that he still felt "like a kid" ahead of such a huge final. We'll try to do as much as possible. We've won La Liga as well. The last of its two titles was won in 1996, while Madrid has won five since then.

  • Arturo Norris