Juventus vs Real Madrid: Who has the better XI for the Champions League final?
The most awaited match of the year is almost upon us as Juventus take on Real Madrid in the Champions League final on 3 June. While Real Madrid are looking to become the first team to win back-to-back European titles in the Champions League era, Juventus are looking to accomplish the treble for the first time in the club’s history.
It is the final everyone wanted when the four semi-finalists were confirmed as AS Monaco and Atletico Madrid were swatted aside and did nothing more than slow them down on the road to Cardiff.
But which team has the upper hand – at least on paper – in the final? We compared the two squads to find out.
Juventus: Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Alves, Pjanic, Khedira, Sandro; Dybala, Mandzukic; Higuain
Real Madrid: Navas; Danilo, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Casemiro, Kroos, Modric, Isco; Ronaldo, Benzema
There’s no question that Juventus have been the best defence in Europe this season having conceded only three times in the entire tournament – twice in the group stages and only once in the knockout stages. Monaco’s young forward Kylian Mbappe was the only player to breach Gianluigi Buffon’s goal in the knockout stages with a consolation goal in the semi-finals having already gone 4-0 down on aggregate.
The veteran Italian goalkeeper has kept 10 clean sheets while Real Madrid’s Keylor Navas has only one clean sheet to his name. To be fair, Navas has been called into action a lot more than Buffon has thanks to a leaky defence but the Costa Rican goalkeeper has also made three errors leading to goals. On the other hand, Buffon is yet to make a costly error in the competition this season.
Buffon’s calm presence at the back and his superior distribution also make him the better goalkeeper in the final. It’s no wonder then that a number of players want him to win the trophy and possibly cause an upset at the Ballon d’Or awards in the process.
Conclusion: Juventus have the better goalkeeper