I didn't score many, but some were important, says Real coach Zidane

Paola Ditto
Giugno 3, 2017

The 32-year-old has developed into more of a centre-forward during Zinedine Zidane's time in charge at Santiago Bernabeu and has often been partnered in attack with Karim Benzema this season.

"Tomorrow is a special day because it is my birthday, it is good news to have another birthday here", he said in his on-court interview. Including his earlier years at Cannes and Bordeaux he totalled 95 goals in 506 club appearances and chipped in an impressive 31 in 108 games for France ― a record many global strikers would be proud of.

Real are going for an unprecedented defence of the title they won in 2016 against city rivals Atletico in Milan.

Ronaldo has been in transcendent form once again this season, reaching 400 career goals for Real as the team won the Spanish title for the first time in five years.

Los Blancos vice-captain Marcelo also spoke to the press, and played down comments from Juve right-back Dani Alves, who claimed at his press conference earlier that Madrid's Pedrag Mijatovic had been offside when scoring the winning goal in the 1998 Champions League final against Zidane's Juve.

During the 2014/15 season, before the semifinals draws were made, Juventus were considered the underdogs, among the four teams of Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich that were left.

"We have to win and we must be tough, technically and tactically. We didn't expect to win but now it is different".

The final could prove a glorious homecoming for Madrid's Cardiff native Gareth Bale, although the Wales star is expected to start on the bench due to a calf injury. "Madrid are a strong side but Italian clubs are tactically good and Juventus have particular players that will mark them out of the game", he added.

The 2006 World Cup victor has twice been a losing finalist, with Juventus defeated on penalties by Italian rivals AC Milan at Old Trafford in 2003 despite their reliable custodian saving from Clarence Seedorf and Kakha Kaladze in the shootout.

"I have always maintained that, in football, making the final means nothing if you don't win it", Buffon said. We will find out soon enough.

Juve, meanwhile, have won the trophy twice, in 1985 and 1996, but have lost in the final six times - more than any other club.

"You've got two of the giants of European football here", he said.

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.

A year ago he got a lot of attention because he scored the final penalty but you did not see him for the 120 minutes before that.

"We're in the eye of the storm now and we're happy to be here". I am enjoying every moment! "I will feel lucky when I sit in the dug-out on Saturday".

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