Barcelona take on Juventus in the UEFA Champions League final at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin on Saturday. Here we look at Friday’s build-up.
Luis Enrique challenges Barcelona’s “unique generation”
There can be few arguments with Barcelona’s progression to this year’s Champions League final but, as if the pressure of reclaiming a trophy the club last won in 2011 was not enough, Luis Enrique has labelled his side a “unique generation”. Barca will become the first side to complete the treble twice should they get the better of Juve on Saturday.
Juve progress a plus for Italian football – Allegri
Football is not short of fierce rivalries and Italy is no different on that front. However, Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri believes success for his side in Berlin would represent a huge boost for Italian football as a whole. Fans of fallen giants Milan and Inter might prefer to be there themselves.
Brandenburg Gate lit up in colours of Juve and Barca
Football has truly taken over Berlin this week and that was on show for all to see as the colours of Barca and Juve were projected onto one of the city’s most famous landmarks.
Nicolo De Marchi arrives in Berlin
Having vowed to walk all the way from Turin to Berlin to watch his beloved Juventus – a whopping 683 miles – Nicolo De Marchi completed his journey on Friday. He may have arrived a day late, and with the help of a bike and – briefly – a car, but De Marchi will be rewarded for his efforts with a ticket to Saturday’s final.
Neymar: This is my biggest final
Speaking on Friday, Neymar said: “I’ve played many finals but this is the biggest one in my career to date. It’s the most important match in my life and that’s why I’m going to give my very best. It’s been my dream since I was a child and I hope I’m going to enjoy the game. Of course I’ve dreamed about scoring, I hope I can score a goal to help my team”.
Buffon: We’re no pushovers
Juve goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon said: “They have magnificent players, special individuals, and any team with [Lionel] Messi, [Luis] Suarez and Neymar and even [Andres] Iniesta behind them – it’s impossible for them not to be favourites. They are fortunate to have such magnificent players in their team. But when they play [Carlos] Tevez, [Leonardo] Bonucci, [and Andrea] Pirlo it’s clear in my opinion that we’re not going to be a victim or be sacrificed up on the altar.”
Desailly backs Barca for the win
Two-time Champions League winner Marcel Desailly says Juventus will have “no chance” of lifting the trophy if Barcelona play to the best of their abilities. Speaking to Perform, he said: “They [Juventus] are dealing with a collective side who can play very well altogether. At the same time they have individual talents who can make the difference at any time.”
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