Brazilians will play a key role in the Champions League dream final between the Juventus and Real Madrid, but which posse will be posing with the trophy?
The Millennium Stadium in Welsh capital Cardiff is set to host the biggest game in European club football. A heavyweight clash between Real Madrid and Juventus, is eagerly anticipated by every football fan across the globe. As always, Brazilians will be present on the big stage, and could be set to have their decisive say.
With Marcelo, Casemiro, Dani Alves and Alex Sandro all but confirmed a starting spot, Brazil is set to be the most represented country in this year’s Champions League final with four players – on par with Italy’s Gianluigi Buffon, Barzagli, Bonucci and Chiellini. If Danilo gets the nod instead of Dani Carvajal, then the Brazilians would overtake Italy by having five.
The Seleção’s fullbacks are considered the best in the world in recent times, and it is perhaps no surprise that both finalists largely depended on their fullbacks on their eventful journey to the final.
Marcelo was one of the best performers when the Spanish side knocked Bayern Munich from the quarter-finals, whereas Alex Sandro’s defensive solidity stood out against Barcelona. Meanwhile, Dani Alves was nothing short of spectacular as he guided Juventus all the way to the final with mouthwatering performances against his former club as well as Monaco.
Alves has arguably been Juve’s best player in the knockout phase of the competition. The influence of Brazilians was not only limited to the fullback sector, as Casemiro proved to be vital in maintaining Real Madrid’s balance in the big games, something that did not escape Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri, who admitted that the holding midfielder’s presence is more important than whether Isco and Gareth Bale start the game or not.
We are exactly one year away from the World Cup, and while the friendship between Madrid’s and Juve’s Brazilians is considered untouchable, there is no doubt that each player will behave like a real professional and do whatever it takes to earn his team the most valuable trophy in European club football.
All the participating Brazilians have already had their fair share of silverware, except Alex Sandro who is yet to lift any European competition. As a matter of fact, the 26-year old will be motivated more than ever, as he is the only Brazilian participating in this final, who has been selected by national team coach Tite for the next two friendlies against Argentina on June 9, and Australia in June 13. In Marcelo’s absence, Sandro will be looking to take advantage as much as possible, in order to win himself a ticket for Russia next year.
All eyes will be set on the Champions League final, and there is no doubt that both sides have what it takes to clinch the win. But Real Madrid’s squad depth looks stronger, which could perhaps be the decisive factor in helping them achieve victory to reach the all-time record 12th title.