Along with the Olympics and the World Cup I’d say the UEFA Champions League final is one of the most anticipated and watched sporting events in the world. My first time watching a UEFA Champions League final was in 2010. My favorite thus far was in 2012. I’m an Arsenal fan but I must admit before rooting for them I was a huge fan of Didier Drogba. If you know the history of Drogba and Arsenal then it makes no sense.
This year’s final should be another great one. Juventus will face Real Madrid. Both clubs are rich with history and have won plenty of trophies. I’ll point out three reasons why you should watch this match.
Reason #1: The Teams
Juventus (from Turin, Italy) was founded 119 years ago. Juve enter the final having won their domestic cup championship and league championship – Serie A – once again this season. This is their 6th straight season winning the Serie A title and 33rd overall. Juve has a total of 64 trophies in all competitions and have won the UEFA Champions League twice. Most recently in 1996. Juventus will be gunning to win a *treble* by winning on Saturday.
Real Madird (from Madrid, Spain) was founded 115 years ago. Real come into the final having won the La Liga championship. This was Real’s first league championship since 2011-2012. Los Blancos as they are sometimes called has won La Liga a record 33 times and have 84 trophies total from all competitions. Real holds the record – 11 – for most championships won in the UEFA Champions League. Real Madrid is the defending champs of the UEFA Champions League and are trying to pull off the tough feat of being back to back winners.
Reason #2: The Players
The field or pitch as it is referred to in futbol terms will be littered with World Class players. Real Madrid will have the biggest of them all in Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo is Real’s all time leading goal scorer and in the modern game is only rivaled by Lionel Messi when it comes to best player in the world. Real Madrid also has Toni Kroos, Sergio Ramos, Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, and Marcelo to name few. Gareth Bale’s status for the match is still unknown.
Juventus will be led by their captain and goal keeper Gianluigi “GiGi” Buffon. Buffon at the age of 39 is still one of the best – if not the best – goal keeper in the world. Buffon has earned a swell of individual accolades and lifted many trophies in his career – including the World Cup for his country Italy – but never the UEFA Champions League trophy. Buffon is not surrounded by any slouches. Giorgio Chiellini has been a stout defensive presence for the club since 2005. Some others on the field will include Dani Alves, Paulo Dybala, Mario Mandzukic, and Gonzalo Higuain.
Reason #3: All-Purpose Backs
Technically by the positions they play Dani Alves and Marcelo are known as “defenders”. Both players hail from the futbol rich country of Brazil. Dani a right back and Marcelo a left back. Dani is very familiar with Real Madrid being that his former club – Barcelona – is Real’s biggest rival. Both players do an excellent job of defending but it’s what they can do with the ball at their feet that sets them apart from others. Marcelo flows around the field with his black hair flowing behind. For those familiar with the game Street Fighter II think of Blanca. As for Dani you never know about his hair. He’s come out with a bunch of different styles. Like their hair, both players are expressive and emotional on the pitch and they don’t try to hide it. That emotion and expressive nature allows them to play freely and switch into deadly attacking threats. Don’t be shocked both players have an impact on the match. Check out this post The Secret by Dani Alves from the Players’ Tribune.
I’ve given you the reasons to watch and now for the time and channel. The match is scheduled to start at 2:45 pm Eastern Standard Time. If you’re in the USA the match can be watched on your local FOX station, Fox Deportes, Fox Sports Go, fuboTV, foxsoccer2go.com, ESPN Deportes radio, SiriusXM Channel 83 (tape at 5 on Fox Soccer Plus, tape at 8 on FS2)
*Treble* is when a club wins 3 championships in one season. The most heralded treble in club soccer occurs when a team is able to win the domestic cup and highest league championship in the country which they are from. In Juventus case that is Italy and then win the contenital trophhy (Europe and UEFA Champions League in this case).