The die is cast as the 2014/15 edition of the UEFA Champions League final between Catalan giants, Barcelona and the Old Lady of Italian football, Juventus holds today and soccer pundits describe the encounter as battle of the survival of the fittest.
The battle ground is the architectural masterpiece, Olympiastadion stadium in Berlin and all eyes across the globe will be fixed on today’s game.
Barcelona parades the best attacking forward in the world made up of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and Neymar and Azurri and Juventus icon and safe hand, Gianluigi Buffon has an uphill task to keep at bay the three most lethal marksmen people describe as legion of doom.
While the trio have registered 120 goals between them this season, Buffon on his part has an enviable record of 29 clean sheets across all competitions in this campaign and the disciplined Juventus back line will be busy during the regulation time to silence this formidable forward line.
Giorgio Chiellini ruled out of the game due to calf injury even as both sides would be chasing treble after winning league and domestic cup respectively.
Former Chelsea and Germany midfielder, Michael Ballack is of the opinion that Juventus have what it takes to win the Champions League.
‘‘For me I think Juventus have a good chance to beat also this really strong Barcelona team because they already kicked out a Spanish team, they know how they play.’’
Juventus, appearing in their first final in 12 years and are seeking a third European crown at the expense of a Barcelona side with their sights set on a fifth title and fourth in the past decade.
For both coaches, victory in Berlin would be the icing on the cake of an already impressive debut season, Massimiliano Allegri having led his Juventus team to the Serie A title, with Luis Enrique achieving the same feat in Spain with Barça.
The Turin club’s squad features four players with UEFA Champions League final winning experience; Andrea Pirlo (AC Milan 2003, 2007); Patrice Evra and Carlos Tévez (Manchester United FC 2008); Álvaro Morata (Real Madrid CF 2014).
It is worthy of note too that the scorer in Barcelona’s 2009 and 2011 victories, Lionel Messi could become the first player to find the net in three UEFA Champions League finals.
Previously, Juventus edged past Barcelona 3-2 on aggregate when the clubs met in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals. After a 1-1 draw in Turin, Marcelo Zalayeta’s 114th-minute goal secured victory for Juve at the Camp Nou after Xavi had equalised a Pavel Nedvěd strike.
Luis Enrique played alongside Xavi in both of those ties, captaining Barcelona in the second leg while Buffon was in goal for Juventus.
Who win today’s encounter is too close to call as both side parades players with Champions League experience. However, three qualities will determine who carry the day and they are discipline, tactical and technical ability.


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