The Champions League is a notable absentee in the impressive honours list of goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who considers the empty slot a stimulus in the run-up to the final he plays Saturday against Barcelona. “I am glad not to have won the Champions League yet. So I feel prodded to play for something prestigious,” he said this week.
Still being considered one of the world’s best goalkeepers, the 37-year-old Juve captain is often queried about his future, with the term being used as a synonym for retirement. “If we do not get a win it will be disappointing,” he said.
“We get into this game with the feeling that we will play against a team who are stronger than us, which is not what we felt in 2003.” The first-ever all-Italian final saw AC Milan prevail on penalties, with Andrea Pirlo celebrating in Manchester the first of the two European trophies he lifted with the Rossoneri.