CARDIFF (Reuters) - Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri says his team need to be “fiendish” to beat Real Madrid in Saturday’s Champions League final.
Allegri, whose side are playing in their second final in three seasons after losing to Barcelona in 2015, admitted that Real start as favourites but believes Juve are capable of pulling off a surprise.
“We have worked hard all year and the wins this season have been all about reaching this game. But on Saturday we need to win and we need to understand when will be the moments to attack and when to defend,” Allegri told a news conference on Friday.
“We have to have the belief that we can bring that Cup home and we have to be fiendish to strike when Real offer us an opening,” he added.
Allegri said his team had matured since that loss to Barcelona and now had greater self-confidence.
“Two finals in three years is an important step but it is not enough,” he said.
”We have to win and we must be tough, technically and tactically. We aren’t here to visit Cardiff - we came here to win and take that trophy back home.
“In 2015 we got to the final and deserved it but perhaps we didn’t feel confident enough because we had come out of a number of years of struggling in the Champions League. We didn’t expect to win but now it is different,” Allegri added.
Allegri declined to give any information on his team selection, saying he had yet to make up his mind but would factor in the risk of the game going to extra-time.
Juventus have appeared in eight European Cup/Champions League finals but have only twice emerged victorious.
“Tomorrow (Saturday) stats don’t count, its a one game final, we need belief in our ability and play better than Real,” Allegri said.
“Yes, Juve have played eight finals and lost six but that just shows that in a final anything can happen,” added the former AC Milan coach.
For goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who at the age of 39 may be facing his last chance to win a Champions League, the prospect of a victory carries particular significance.
“Winning would be the right end to a fairytale and people like fairytales,” Buffon said.
“We have to make sure we have no regrets because we have the chance to write an important page of history”.
Editing by Ed Osmond