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24 February 2018 00:00:00 AM Breaking News


Champions League final: expert predictions and analysis

A case of attack v defence for some and a game of chess for others, with one former winner saying "the problem for Juve is a player named Cristiano". We round up the big-name views.

Luís Figo, a winner with Real Madrid in 2002
Everything is possible in football. Juventus's defensive structure is strong, but Real Madrid's attack is also very dangerous which is why I think the duels will be interesting, and whoever wins more individually will come out on top. I think that it will be an interesting duel pitting two different styles against each other, with two very strong football cultures and great players.

Cafu, a winner with Milan in 2007
Juventus 2-2 Real Madrid (we didn't find out what happens next!)

Christian Karembeu, a two-time winner with Madrid
Juventus 2-3 Real Madrid

Pavel Nedvěd, Juventus vice-president, in Czech daily Sport
We have been waiting for victory for 21 years. Juventus won this competition for the last time in 1996. We've reached the final on several occasions since but never won it. That's why our expectations are big. The team is very focused, relaxed and not feeling the pressure.

Marcel Desailly, a two-time winner, with Marseille and Milan
Juventus 2-1 Real Madrid

Four-time winner Clarence Seedorf
I don't expect a lot of fireworks. It's a final, and both teams know that in the final it's about that one chance that's going to make a difference. So nobody wants to take a lot of risks. I expect really a tactical match, a tough one, but I don't expect a lot of goals, maybe 1-0 or so. Both Juventus and Madrid I think have the capability of doing what it takes to make sure that there's no space for counterattacks and using that moment to make a difference.

Ciro Ferrara, a winner with Juve in 1996
Juventus 2-1 Real Madrid

Patrik Andersson, a winner with Bayern in 2001
Juventus 2-0 Real Madrid

Edgar Davids, a winner with Ajax in 1995
Finals are always difficult. I don't see any favourites, anything can happen, it's really impossible to make predictions. Real Madrid are not unbeatable but they have two or three players who can really make the difference at any time. The problem for Juve is the player named Cristiano. Dybala and Higuaín are very strong but they are not at Ronaldo's level at the moment.

Eidur Gudjohnsen, a winner with Barcelona in 2009
Juventus 1-0 Real Madrid

Andriy Shevchenko, a winner with AC Milan in 2003
I will be cheering for both teams but in my heart I would like to see such a great player as Buffon winning the Champions League. Overall, my sympathies will be with Juventus.

Steve McManaman, a two-time winner with Madrid
Juventus 1-2 Real Madrid

Ian Rush, final ambassador and former Juve striker
I am going with Juventus. Madrid are one of those teams who, you know, you score two then we will score three – they are that good. But I think if Juventus score two there's no way Madrid are going to score three. I think they are well organised, they work hard as a team, and they have got those players who can win you the game – the likes of Higuain and people like that.

Robert Pirès, a runner-up with Arsenal in 2006
Juventus 1-3 Real Madrid

Phil Thompson, European Cup winner with Liverpool in 1978 and 1981
I fancy Juventus; defensively they're the best in the business and they will be able to cope with anything Real Madrid throw at them. I've been very impressed with Juventus and it's the strength all round, in all departments, which says to me they're better equipped to win this match. Juventus to win 2-1.

Steffen Freund, a winner with Dortmund in 1997
Juventus 1-1 Real Madrid (Juve to win 5-4 on pens)

Juan Hernangómez, Denver Nuggets NBA star
Juventus 1-2 Real Madrid



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