Champions League - key matchups

June 03, 2017
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (right) scores past Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon during a Champions League, semifinal match, at the Juventus Stadium in Turin, Italy, on Tuesday, May 5, 2015. (AP Photo)
Massimiliano Allegri
Juventus' Paulo Dybala celebrates after scoring during the Champions League first-leg quarter-final match against Barcelona. Juventus won 3-0.



One of the greatest goalkeepers of all-time will be trying to stop one of the greatest forwards.

Gianluigi Buffon, the 39-year-old Juventus veteran seeking his first Champions League title, takes on Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid star trying to win the title for the third time in four seasons.

Ronaldo has got the best of Buffon so far, scoring five goals in his four games against the Italy goalkeeper. His last two goals were in the 2015 Champions League semifinals, but it was Buffon's Juventus which ultimately advanced to the final.

It will be Buffon's third Champions League final. His previous finals ended in losses to Barcelona in 2015 and to AC Milan in 2003.


It will be youth against experience as Juventus' Paulo Dybala goes against Real Madrid veteran Luka Modric.

The 23-year-old Dybala has made an impact on the international stage this season, so much that he even earned comparisons with compatriot Lionel Messi. He attracted plenty of attention by scoring twice in the quarter finals against Barcelona, and days later he was given a new contract that will keep him in Turin until 2022.

The hard-working Modric endured a series of injuries that sidelined him during parts of the season, including a left-knee ailment that required arthroscopic surgery in December.


Two former players, Massimiliano Allegri and Zinedine Zidane will be operating from the sidelines, each trying to win one last trophy in what has been a remarkable season for both clubs.

Allegri, a manager since 2003, is in his second Champions League final and seeking his first title. Zidane, on the job for less than two seasons, is trying to become the first coach to win back-to-back European titles.

Both have successfully surpassed expectations after being hired surrounded by questions marks, with Allegri replacing the highly popular Antonio Conte in 2014 and Zidane making his head-coaching debut in 2016 with Madrid in crisis after poor results under manager Rafa Benitez.

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