Juventus manager: How can we be favourites?

‘We must be optimistic but does not seem fair to say Juventus will be the favourites’

Juventus’s Paulo Dybala leads an open training session in Turin. Photograph: Inpho

Juventus’s Paulo Dybala leads an open training session in Turin. Photograph: Inpho

 

Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri insists Real Madrid are the favourites to win Saturday’s Champions League final.

The Italian champions will face the La Liga winners and European Cup holders in Cardiff this weekend, two years after they lost to Barcelona under Allegri in the Berlin final.

Juve have had slightly less time to prepare as they concluded their successful Serie A campaign with a win at Bologna on Saturday, while Real wrapped up the Spanish crown on May 21th.

Allegri has called for calm, however, telling a pre-match press conference: “We have to approach this week with great serenity, heading towards the game without anxiety.

“We must be optimistic but it does not seem fair to say that Juventus will be the favourites.

We do not want to repeat the mistakes we made in Berlin

“Real are in their third final in four years and are used to playing in them, even though we have been there twice in three years. It will be a wonderful event and we deserve to be there.

“The boys have given their all and we go there with greater knowledge and conviction than we had two years ago, even though we are playing against Real and they are the favourites.

“Getting to the Champions League final gives me great joy, and I’m lucky to be able to sit on the bench in Cardiff on Saturday.”

Defender Giorgio Chiellini added: “We do not want to repeat the mistakes we made in Berlin.

“It is in my nature to try and take the positives out of every experience, even from the bad times.”

Teenager Moise Kean became the first player born in 2000 to score in Serie A on Saturday.

The 17-year-old came off the bench to head the winner with the final act of the match as the champions came from a goal down to win 2-1 at Bologna in their last league game of the season.

Moise Kean after scoring the winner at the ‘Renato Dall’ara’ stadium in Bologna. Photograph: Getty Images
Moise Kean after scoring the winner at the ‘Renato Dall’ara’ stadium in Bologna. Photograph: Getty Images

It was Kean’s first senior career goal and ensured Juventus would head into the Champions League final in winning form.

He told the club website: “I am very happy to score this first goal.

“I was also lucky. It’s the dream of all 17-year-olds to score goals for a big club like Juve. It was really nice, but there is still work to do, because in my mind this is just the beginning.

“I have learned so much from the first-team players. I’m very lucky to be close to them. They have always helped me and pushed me to never give up.

“I dedicate my goal to my family, especially to my mother.”

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