Champions League final

Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini will not face Barcelona striker Luis Suarez in the Champions League final after being ruled out through injury.

The Italy centre-back, 30, had been expected to line up against Suarez, who bit him at the World Cup last June.

But the key defender will miss the Berlin game due to a calf tear and his absence is a significant blow to Juve.

Uruguay’s Suarez was banned for four months after biting Chiellini on the shoulder in the group game in Brazil.

Speaking earlier in the week, Chiellini had played down a potential first meeting with the 28-year-old since the incident, saying he would “hug him happily” and had “no problem at all”.

Barcelona have named Andres Iniesta in their squad for Saturday’s match, with the midfielder expected to play despite tweaking a leg muscle in last Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey final.

The cup final win leaves Barcelona one victory away from the treble, with Luis Enrique’s side having already been crowned La Liga champions.

With no further injury worries, the Spanish coach will be able to call on his first-choice attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Suarez, who have scored 120 goals between them this season.

Juventus, too, are chasing a treble, having beaten Lazio in the Coppa Italia final and finished 17 points clear of Roma to win a fourth successive Serie A title.

The Italian side’s 37-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has described Messi as “an extra-terrestrial who plays with us humans” ahead of his second appearance in the final.

Buffon’s previous final was against AC Milan in May 2003, when Juve lost 3-2 on penalties following a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford.-BBC


Categorized | Sport

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