The Latest: Madrid practices Zidane volley

0
The Latest: Madrid practices Zidane volley
The Latest: Madrid practices Zidane volley

CARDIFF, Wales (AP) – The latest from the Champions League final (all times local):

___

7:25 p.m.

Real Madrid is practicing volleys akin to the one Zinedine Zidane scored for the team in the 2002 Champions League final.

Zidane scored one of the greatest goals in the competition’s history when he volleyed in a shot against Bayer Leverkusen, giving Madrid its ninth European Cup.

The players lined up inside the area as a coach sent in volleys to kick on goal.

___

7:15 p.m.

As the “away” team, Real Madrid will be wearing purple uniforms for the Champions League final.

Juventus, which is technically the “home” team, will be in its usual black-and-white striped shirts with white shorts.

___

7:05 p.m.

Cristiano Ronaldo and the rest of the players on Real Madrid and Juventus are on the field warming up for the Champions League final.

The players walked through the tunnel and onto the field to a huge roar from the thousands of Real Madrid and Juventus supporters already in the stadium with about 40 minutes to go before kickoff.

Juventus came out first, followed by Madrid.

___

7 p.m.

Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas was one of the first players to run out on the field to warm up for the Champions League final against Juventus.

Navas and backup Kiko Casilla did some light runs and stretches as coaches set up some balls in the area.

___

6:55 p.m.

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane will play with Francisco “Isco” Alarcon instead of Gareth Bale in the starting lineup.

Bale, who was born in Cardiff, was left out of the squad despite having fully recovered from injuries that had kept him sidelined for several months, including an ankle ailment that forced him to undergo surgery in November.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema were set to play up front, while Dani Carvajal, who missed some recent games because of a muscle injury, was set to start at right back in place of Danilo.

There were no surprises in the Juventus lineup, with Gonzalo Higuain leading the offense alongside Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic.

___

6:50 p.m.

Lineups for the Champions League final:

Juventus: Gianluigi Buffon; Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Barzagli; Dani Alves, Alex Sandro, Miralem Pjanic, Sami Khedira; Mario Mandzukic, Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain.

Real Madrid: Keylor Navas; Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Marcelo, Dani Carvajal; Casemiro, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Francisco “Isco” Alarcon; Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema.

___

6:35 p.m.

A handful of players from both Juventus and Real Madrid went straight onto the field after arriving for the Champions League final.

Still in street clothes, the Juventus players were loudly greeted by the Italian crowd.

A few steps away, some Real Madrid players were also lingering on the field.

___

6:30 p.m.

And now the Juventus bus has arrived.

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri was one of the first to get off, leading the way as his team gets ready to face Real Madrid in the Champions League final.

___

6:20 p.m.

The bus carrying Cristiano Ronaldo and his Real Madrid teammates has arrived at the Millennium Stadium for the Champions League final.

Madrid will take on Juventus in its quest to win a 12th European Cup. Madrid is also trying to become the first team in the Champions League era to win back-to-back titles.

___

6:15 p.m.

The match officials are out inspecting the field at the Millennium Stadium for the Champions League final.

Dressed in green jackets and black pants, the group of officials checked the nets to make sure they were ready.

The referee for Saturday’s match between Juventus and Real Madrid is Felix Brych of Germany.

___

5:30 p.m.

Real Madrid fans who could not make the trip to Cardiff for the Champions League final will be able to watch the match on huge screens inside the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

Four screens will be placed at midfield for fans willing to pay 10 euros ($11) to be at the stadium for Saturday’s match against Juventus.

Several attractions will be organized before the game to keep the fans entertained.

Last year, when Madrid beat crosstown rival Atletico Madrid in the final in Milan, the club said nearly 80,000 fans watched the match at the Bernabeu.

If Madrid wins the title this season, the stadium is expected to host the team’s celebrations on Sunday night.

___

5:10 p.m.

The security at the Millennium Stadium received some praise from a few Juventus supporters.

Nicholas Borghi, a 51-year-old bar owner from Milan, said passing through security for the Champions League final between Juventus and Real Madrid was easy.

“In Italy, it’s more difficult because Juventus is very strict. There are a lot of controls,” said Borghi, who was at the match with his friend. “When we go abroad, it’s easier for us.”

Umberto Smiraglia, who was in Cardiff with his nephew, was impressed that things were so smooth considering the recent attack in Manchester.

“Great organization, to be honest,” Smiraglia said. “I expected it to be worse or at least to be tougher because of what happened in Manchester.”

___

4:30 p.m.

The fans are starting to enter the Millennium Stadium for the Champions League final.

There’s still about three hours until the match between Juventus and Real Madrid starts, but the doors have opened and some fans are getting in early to get their spots.

The side that will seat the Madrid fans is loaded with purple and white flags, the team’s colors. The other side already has some Juventus banners lying on the seats ready to be deployed.

The scoreboards on either side of the stadium are ready, too, with the message of “Welcome” in English, Italian and Spanish flanked by the crests of the two clubs. Along the side of the screen is an image of the Champions League trophy, often referred to as the European Cup.

___

4:05 p.m.

Members of Real Madrid’s first team received 800 tickets to give away to guests for the final.

Madrid received 17,518 tickets for the final, with about 15,000 allocated to club members. The club conducted a lottery to accommodate the more than 44,000 requests it received for the tickets to Saturday’s final.

___

3:55 p.m.

With less than four hours to go before the Champions League final, the roof at the Millennium Stadium is being closed.

Saturday’s match between Real Madrid and Juventus will be the first Champions League final played under a closed roof.

The match will be played indoors because of security fears.

___

3:10 p.m.

The charter plane carrying relatives of Real Madrid players was delayed for more than an hour in Spain because of the high number of flights arriving at Cardiff’s airport for the Champions League final against Juventus.

Players’ relatives used social media to talk about the delay.

Spanish daily Marca said the flight was still expected to make it to Cardiff in good time for the final.

Cardiff Airport was at capacity because of the high influx of fans arriving from Spain and Italy.

___

2:55 p.m.

Trains arriving at Cardiff were packed with Italian and Spanish fans who spent the night in nearby cities because of the limited hotel capacity in the Welsh capital.

Many fans were unable to find a place to stay in Cardiff and had to seek alternatives in neighboring cities, such as Bristol.

“It was impossible to find a place to stay in Cardiff, everything was booked well in advance,” said Real Madrid fan Mario Herrero, who made the trip of about one hour from Bristol into Cardiff. “We had to look for hotels in other cities, it was the only solution.”

Most trains were filled to capacity but there were no reports of problems for fans arriving at Cardiff’s main station.

With a population of just 350,000, Cardiff is one of the smallest cities to host a Champions League final.

___

1:25 p.m.

Fans still wanting to watch the Champions League final are being charged hefty amounts of money by ticket scalpers.

Tickets were going for up to 1,500 euros ($1,700) outside Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, ahead of the final between Juventus and Real Madrid.

Police were warning fans against the possibility of forged tickets.

___

10:15 a.m.

The Black Eyed Peas are promising an energetic show when they perform at the Champions League final.

The Grammy Award-winning eclectic hip-hop group will be entertaining the Cardiff stadium crowd just before Juventus and Real Madrid meet in the biggest club game in world soccer.

Black Eyed Peas member will.i.am promised “lots of energy.”

Will.i.am told The Associated Press that “there’s a lot of eyeballs, a lot of football fans and hopefully we can bring a lot of music fans to watch us too. So, unlike the Super Bowl and the World Cup, this is the second time we’ve had music at a UEFA opening ceremony, so we’re happy to be number two.”

Alicia Keys performed before last season’s final in Milan.

Saturday’s Champions League final is the first being played under a closed roof due to security fears that intensified in the wake of the Manchester Arena attack last month that killed 22 people.

Will.i.am said: “I try not to let fear govern where I go. I love this country and I will always.”

___

6:30 a.m.

It’s match day in Cardiff where Juventus and Real Madrid will face off in the Champions League final.

Madrid has featured in three finals in the past four seasons, winning in 2014 and 2016. Now, Madrid is looking to become the first team to retain a Champions League title and win a record-extending 12th European Cup.

Juventus is chasing its third title, having not won European soccer’s top prize since 1996. The Italian side lost to Barcelona on its last visit to the final in 2015.

Ten of thousands of fans are descending on the Welsh capital for the match, with limited hotel capacity to accommodate them.

With a population of just 350,000, Cardiff is one of the smallest cities to host a Champions League final.

Real Madrid players warm-up ahead of the Champions League final soccer match between Juventus and Real Madrid at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, Saturday June 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo warms up ahead of the Champions League final soccer match between Juventus and Real Madrid at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, Saturday June 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
The trophy is put on display before the Champions League final soccer match between Juventus and Real Madrid at the Millennium stadium in Cardiff, Wales Saturday June 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Dave Thompson)
Referee Felix Brych tests the goal line technology before the Champions League final soccer match between Juventus and Real Madrid at the Millennium stadium in Cardiff, Wales Saturday June 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Dave Thompson)
Real Madrid fans gesture, ahead of the Champions League final match between Juventus and Real Madrid in Cardiff, Wales, Saturday June 3, 2017. (Nick Potts/PA via AP)
Armed police officers guard outside the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, ahead of the Champions League final soccer match between Juventus and Real Madrid on Saturday June 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Armed police on patrol prior to the Champions League soccer final at the National Stadium, Cardiff, Wales, Saturday June 3, 2017. Juventus and Real Madrid meet in the biggest club game in world soccer Saturday. (Martin Rickett/PA via AP)
Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo controls a ball during a training session at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales Friday June 2, 2017. Real Madrid will play Juventus in the final of the Champions League soccer match in Cardiff on Saturday. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon raises his arms during a training session at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, Friday June 2, 2017. Real Madrid will play Juventus in the final of the Champions League soccer match in Cardiff on Saturday. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Advertisements