18+ | Commercial Content | T&Cs apply | Begambleaware.org
With one European cup final already decided, as Manchester United brushed aside Ajax to take home the Europa League trophy, the world eagerly awaits the other, more significant European cup final: the huge Champions League showdown between two of Europe's powerhouses, Juventus and Real Madrid.
For the Bianconeri, who are two-time winners, this is their first final in the competition since 2015, when they were beaten 3-1 by five-time winners Barcelona in Berlin.
As for Real Madrid, however, after triumphing via a penalty shoot-out last season over fierce rivals Atlético Madrid, they are hoping to do what no other club has done since the competition’s re-branding – retain the trophy.
One could argue that if any club was going to do it, it is this club, as they boast a tremendous amount of experience in this competition.
READ MORE: ZIDANE: EVERYTHING REAL MADRID NEED IN A COACH
Including the former European Cup, Real Madrid have won this tournament an impressive 11 times, which is a record. Since the competition transitioned from the European Cup to the Champions League in 1992, they have appeared in five finals, winning all of them, which is not good news if you are a Juventus fan.
Here we take a closer look at the Spanish side’s finals ahead of next week's blockbuster.
Juventus 0-1 Real Madrid (1997/98)
This was Juventus' third consecutive appearance in the Champions League final. They had won in 1996, beating Ajax on penalties after the game finished 1-1 after extra time, but they failed to retain the title the following season, going down 3-1 to first-time winners Borussia Dortmund.
No doubt they would have been keen to put things right against Jupp Heynckes' Los Blancos, but it wasn't to be their day, as Real, who were appearing in their first final in the Champions League era, edged the game 1-0 for their seventh title overall, La Séptima, and their first in 32 years thanks to a 66th minute strike from striker Predrag Mijatović.
Real Madrid 3-0 Valencia (1999/00)
Two years after triumphing in Holland, Vicente del Bosque's Real ended up at the Stade de France in Paris, where it turned out to be an all-Spanish final. It was the first time in the competition’s history that two clubs from the same country competed in the final.
A header from Morientes, a sublime Steve McManaman volley, and a break-away Raúl goal ensured that it wasn't much of a contest, though, as Héctor Cúper's Valencia, which included the likes of Santiago Cañizares, Gaizka Mendieta, Miguel Ángel Angulo, and Claudio López, were brushed aside as Los Merengues captured their eighth title and their second in three years.
For Real, some players from the final two years prior featured, but there were new starters like a young Iker Casillas in goal and Nicolas Anelka up top alongside Morientes. Del Bosque lined up his team with a back-five formation as he won his first title as manager. McManaman, meanwhile, became the first Englishman to win the tournament with a foreign club.
READ MORE: IS THIS REAL MADRID TEAM BETTER THAN THE GALACTICOS?
Bayer Leverkusen 1-2 Real Madrid (2001/02)
Two years after beating Valencia, Los Blancos played their way to Hampden Park to play Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen, who were managed by Klaus Toppmöller. This was the German side's first final, but it was Real's 12th.
Regarded as favourites before the match, Los Merengues went ahead through the legendary Raúl in the eighth minute. But centre-back Lúcio drew the teams level a mere five minutes later.
Zinedine Zidane, however, shot a left-footed volley into the top corner in the 45th minute to seal what was the club's ninth title.
Casillas found himself on the bench for this final as César took his place in goal, while Claude Makélélé and Luís Figo featured in the line-up alongside the usual suspects.
Real Madrid 4-1 (a.e.t.) Atlético Madrid (2013/14)
Played at the Estádio da Luz in Lisbon, Portugal, this was the fifth final to feature two teams from the same nation, the second all-Spanish final, and the first ever between teams of the same city.
Diego Simeone's men, after going ahead through Diego Godín in the first half, let their slender lead slip late, late on as Sergio Ramos scored a header in the third minute of injury time in the second half to send the game to extra time.
Once there, Gareth Bale, Marcelo, and Cristiano Ronaldo, who top scored in the competition with 17 goals, ensured that Carlo Ancelotti and Los Blancos sealed La Decima.
Real Madrid 1-1 (a.e.t.) Atlético Madrid (2015/16)
A repeat of the final two years prior, again the game went to extra time after Ramos' early first-half goal was cancelled out by Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco in the second half.
With no more goals scored, the game went to penalty kicks, with Los Merengues coming out 5-3 winners.
So, Real Madrid have shown that they can get the job done when it matters most. Zidane will be hoping they can do yet again and in record-breaking fashion.