Back in the final after coming up short in 2014/15, Juventus look to secure their first Champions League victory in 21 years. A repeat of the 1998 showpiece, the fixture takes on an added element as Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane was on the losing side as a player as Juventus fell 1-0 to the Merengues.
The Bianconeri arrive in Cardiff for the rematch against Madrid with the tournament’s best defense. They haven’t lost yet in the competition, conceding just three goals on the way, and scoring 21 in the process.
Here’s how they got there.
Juventus were frustrated in their very first fixture of the competition as they struggled to draw against Sevilla, but they immediately bounced back with a 4-0 shellacking of Dinamo Zagreb in their second match. Juve then took four points off Lyon in back-to-back fixtures. First, they pulled off a 1-0 win in France, a Juan Cuadrado wonderstrike helping the Bianconeri hold off Les Bleus despite playing the majority of the second half down a man. In the home fixture, Lyon were distinctly second best, but still salvaged a draw thanks to Corentin Tolisso's late strike. Juventus then clinched a spot in the knockout rounds with a convincing 3-1 victory over Sevilla, then secured top spot in Group H with a 2-0 victory over Dinamo Zagreb.
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Round of 16
As Group H winners, Juventus went on to face Porto in the Round of 16. The Portuguese side didn't put up much of a fight, as a red card in each leg pretty much ensured easy passage for Juventus. Alex Telles' 27th-minute sending-off in the first leg saw Juve cruise to a 2-0 win at home. The return fixture saw Maxi Pereira play the role of the goat, as his 40th-minute red meant the Bianconeri slid through to the quarterfinals with ease.
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After the relative ease of Porto, Juventus matched up against a rampant Barcelona side that had just completed a historic comeback against Paris Saint-Germain. With Juventus' defensive might up against the most dangerous front three in history, the fixture was billed as one of the most exciting in this year's competition, and it didn't disappoint.
Despite the attacking threat the Blaugrana possessed, Juventus not only completely blanked the Spanish side, they put three goals past them in the first leg, led by a sumptuous Paulo Dybala brace. The second leg saw Juventus travel to Spain and comfortably hold off the home side, rarely looking troubled as they secured a 0-0 draw and a place in the semis.
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Monaco's young guns awaited Juventus in the semifinals, with one Kylian Mbappe the danger man for the Monegasque hotshots. Despite the 18-year-old striking giving Juventus fits throughout the match, Dani Alves was the real star, and his sublime showing carried Juventus to a 2-0 first leg away win on the day. A picture-perfect pair of assists for the Brazilian provided a brace for Gonzalo Higuain, while Gianluigi Buffon's alert instincts kept Mbappe off the scoresheet on the other end.
Alves was the star once again at home in Turin, setting up Mario Mandzukic's opener before crashing in a sublime volley from distance to make it 2-0 on the day, 4-0 on aggregate. Mbappe's incessant workrate was finally rewarded late in the second half as he broke Juventus' scoreless streak at 621 minutes, but it was much too little and way too late, and Juve held on to progress to the final.
The final is now set, with Juventus on their way to Cardiff to take on Real Madrid — who faced a tough path of their own. Real Madrid, with former Juve star Zinedine Zidane at their helm, will seek to become the first team ever to win back-to-back Champions League titles, while Juventus are hoping to avoid adding to their tally of the most ever second-place finishes (six). The Italian club can claim their third European crown with a victory, in a tie that's sure to have plenty of fireworks. The action kicks off Saturday at 2 p.m. ET on FOX.