Two sides steeped in footballing glory meet in Berlin this weekend, each aiming to seal a famous treble by winning the Champions League.
Barcelona and Juventus meetings have been few and far between. Their four previous ties prior to Saturday’s final had spanned 33 years. Such is the stature of the two clubs that, no matter when they played, a raft household names took the field.
The last time the pair did battle was in the quarter final of this competition in 2003. The Italians progressed over the two legs, but needed extra time to do so in their tight 3-2 aggregate win.
In a celebration of that encounter, and as a precursor to the latest duel between two of European football’s giants, news.ladbrokes have donned their mixology hats to amalgamate the sides from 12 years ago.
In a reverse of what would be expected should a modern-day Mix ‘n’ Match be published, it’s the Turin club, who are 9/2 to better Barcelona on Saturday, that field the most men:
Gigi Buffon, one of only two men still at their clubs from the 2003 clash, is an easy choice to fill our net, but picking the rest of the back five proves a far harder task to complete.
Among some of the names to miss out are Dutchman Michael Reiziger, Italian Ciro Ferrara and Swede Patrik Andersson, although we’d wager few could argue with a back four made up of Carlos Puyol, Lilian Thuram and Frank De Boer.
In midfield, Pavel Nedved ousts Marc Overmars in a high-class battle for the left-wing role.
Edgar Davids adds muscle to the pass-mastery presence of Xavi, who will be hoping to add a 25th trophy to his Blaugrana collection before leaving the club this summer.
Mauro Camoranesi, whose familiarity with the right-side of the pitch puts him ahead of the likes of Luis Enrique and Juan Roman Riquelme, completes the middle band.
Just like the easy decision to find a goalkeeper, the forward pairing picks itself. Alessandro Del Piero and Patrick Kluivert complete our mixed lineup, with Juventus winning the representation battle 7-4.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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