• Xavi hopes to see Gianluigi Buffon win the Champions League
  • The ex-Barcelona star won his last Champions League against Buffon in 2015
  • The former Spain midfielder believes the final in Cardiff will be tight

Former Barcelona captain Xavi Hernandez hopes Saturday’s UEFA Champions League final will be the moment that sees veteran Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon lift the trophy in Cardiff.

Buffon is looking to win European club football’s top prize for the first time after twice finishing as a runner-up in the competition, having last missed out in the 2014/15 Champions League season to Xavi and Barcelona in Berlin. The 39-year-old shot-stopper will be hoping to play a decisive role for Il Bianconeri when they take on European Cup holders and FIFA Club World Cup champions Real Madrid at The National Stadium of Wales.

Xavi will have a keen eye on proceedings in Cardiff this weekend and is hoping Buffon will finally achieve success in the Champions League at the third time of asking. “Winning the Champions League would be a crowning moment in Buffon’s career,” Xavi told www.sc.qa. “I would like to see Buffon winning the Champions League.

"As a Barcelona fan, it is logical and natural that I want Juventus to win. But also for Buffon, for Dani Alves, who deserves it, he is an impressive player who has made a difference in the lead-up to the final. I also have a very good relationship with Dani, so for different reasons, I’d like to see Juventus winning the trophy.”

Though he desires to see the Italian champions triumph in the Welsh capital, the former Spain midfielder knows Saturday’s final is a match-up of two sides who have a history for shining on the biggest of footballing stages.

“I see the final at 50-50, a final is always difficult to predict and there is no clear favourite,” said the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ winner. “Juventus have been doing things well for years, and it is a big club that has not won the Champions League for many years now. Real Madrid is also very strong, they have signed good players, I think we’re going to see a great final.

“Juventus has players like Dybala and Higuain who can make a difference in attack, Dani Alves is also contributing a lot in attack and making some great assists, he is important in defence and in attack. For Real Madrid, Benzema can be decisive, as can Isco, Modric, Cristiano Ronaldo, there are a lot of players who can make a difference. We will see a fantastic final.”