Who has the strongest line up – Real Madrid or Juventus? We rate the title holders and the Italian champions man by man

Who has the strongest line up – Real Madrid or Juventus? We rate the title holders and the Italian champions man by man

With both Real Madrid and Juventus wrapping up
their domestic titles in recent weeks, it has only
heightened the anticipation of the Champions
League final on Saturday.
Throughout the thrilling knock-out stages of this
season's competition, these two sides have proven
themselves worthy of a title tilt in Cardiff, knocking
out challengers Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid,
Barcelona and Monaco along the way.
Now, ahead of their meeting, we have analysed the
line-ups of both Madrid and Juve, looking at their
various strengths and weaknesses in an attempt to
separate Europe's very best...
Real Madrid (4-3-3)
Keylor Navas: 7/10
Since the departure of Iker Casillas, Navas has
established himself as a regular, playing a key role
in last season's European title. Rumours of a move
for David de Gea persist, though.
Danilo: 6/10
The obvious weak link in this defence, Danilo has
struggled at times for Madrid. An injury to Dani
Carvajal gives him a chance in the final.
Sergio Ramos: 9/10
Madrid's leader and very much a man for the big
occasion. A colourful character and a fine defender,
Ramos has scored in his side's last two finals.
Raphael Varane: 8/10
Varane will profit from Pepe's continued injury
problems, but he is far from a back-up. Quick,
strong and classy on the ball, the France
international deserves his place.

Marcelo: 8/10
As Madrid have reasserted their European
dominance, Marcelo has established himself as
one of the world's finest full-backs. He loves to get
forward on the left.
Casemiro: 7/10
His role is not the prettiest, but Casemiro is a vital
cog as he runs the hard yards and gives the ball to
his more creative team-mates.
Toni Kroos: 8/10
The 27-year-old is a central figure for both club
and country, with a medal haul almost as
impressive as his passing range.
Luka Modric: 9/10
There are not many better midfielders than Modric
on the planet right now. He can pass, dribble and
shoot, conducting play behind Madrid's BBC front-
line.
Gareth Bale: 8/10
Once the world's most expensive player, Bale has
endured a frustrating season since starring at Euro
2016. However, he retains the ability and the
confidence to turn this final.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 10/10
But for Lionel Messi, Ronaldo would have long
been established as the world's best. Regardless,
he will go down as one of the finest goalscorers in
history.
Karim Benzema: 8/10
Relatively unheralded next to his fellow forwards,
Benzema continues to score goal after goal. Juve
cannot afford to give him time and space within 20
yards of goal.
Total: 88
Juventus (3-4-3)
Gianluigi Buffon: 9/10
He may be 39 years old, but Buffon remains one of
the very best goalkeepers around. His experience
more than makes up for any lost agility, conceding
just once in the knock-out rounds.
Andrea Barzagli: 7/10
Like Buffon, 36-year-old Barzagli has a wealth of
experience to rely on. Bale, Benzema and Cristiano
will have a tough time up against Juve's own BBC
back-line.
Leonardo Bonucci: 9/10
One of the best defenders in Europe and,
unsurprisingly, linked with a number of European
wannabes, Bonucci will marshal this compact
rearguard.
Giorgio Chiellini: 8/10
Alongside Bonucci, Chiellini excelled against Barca
in the quarter-finals. Having missed the 2015 final,
he will be determined to make the difference this
time out.

Dani Alves: 8/10
Changes further forward might have received more
attention, but picking up Alves from Barca was one
of the transfers of the season. He has been
magnificent.
Miralem Pjanic: 8/10
Another new recruit this term, Pjanic has settled
swiftly into a winning team. His quality is crucial in
creating chances for Juve's star forwards.
Sami Khedira: 7/10
That Khedira is one of the lowest scorers serves
only to show the quality on display in Cardiff.
Against his former side, the Germany international
will impose himself on the midfield.
Alex Sandro: 8/10
Incredibly, Sandro has just six caps for Brazil. That
is largely down to Marcelo's presence and he will
look to show up his more experienced compatriot
in this match.
Paulo Dybala: 9/10
While Dybala's goal tally has dipped this season,
his performance levels have not. Two marvellous
goals in the last eight did for Barca and
international team-mate Messi.

Gonzalo Higuain: 9/10
The final piece of the Juve puzzle? Higuain made a
mockery of his previously modest knock-out record
with a brace at Monaco in the semi-finals.
Mario Mandzukic: 6/10
Higuain's arrival has pushed Mandzukic out of the
spotlight, but he has thrived all the same. While he
might be less talented than his fellow forwards, he
remains a threat.
Total: 88
Ronaldo, of course, is the star, while Juve arguably
boast a better defence, but the two teams look very
well matched ahead of the final. Extra-time and
penalties are certainly not out of the question...

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