Marotta: ‘Juve growth process’

Juventus director Beppe Marotta said Italian football should be proud of the Champions League Final against Real Madrid. “There’s been a gradual growth process.”

It kicks off in Cardiff at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT), follow the build-up and action on the Liveblog.

“I saw the team very focused, concentrated and in my view one of the best sides of recent years,” Marotta told Mediaset Premium.

“We changed numerous actors compared to the performance in 2015 and players who have many trophies on their CV, including Dani Alves, so brought a stronger mentality and more confidence in games of this level.

“I feel great pride as a director and to be representing an important club with Italian owners. Despite globalisation in football, it’s wonderful to see an Italian club with many Italian players in the Final. We should all be proud.

“Real Madrid proved they are an excellent side, while our mentality has certainly improved consistently over the last two years. It has been a gradual growth process, both under Antonio Conte and Massimiliano Allegri, the team gained a stronger mentality.

“This season we were targeting the Champions League, not forgetting the importance of Serie A ambition, so being in the Final is the crowning moment of a growth process. Now we can say that we have a squad competitive for any tournament.”

Zinedine Zidane has chosen Isco to start rather than Gareth Bale, so will this involve a change for the Bianconeri?

“The Real Madrid squad is very strong, with quality and mentality. I think Allegri examined both alternatives and prepared for them.”

Tickets for the Champions League final between Juventus and Real Madrid are still on sale with reseller Viagogo – Click to find out more

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