- Real are firm favourites to win despite not holding ‘domestic champion’ status, having won each of the five European/Champions League finals they’ve played without winning La Liga the previous season (100%).
- Those five victories also account for just under half (45%) of Real’s total European trophy wins (11 in total)
- Juventus do not boast the same success rate in finals played the season after winning Serie A. Of the seven European/UCL finals played as such, they’ve won only two (29%).
Two of Europe’s most decorated powerhouses will meet in Cardiff on June 3 as Real Madrid look to become the first team ever to successfully defend the Champions League crown against Juventus.
Just as Real are making their third European final appearance in four season, the Bianconeri will return to the Champions League decider for the second time in three terms, illustrating the magnitude of the fixture set to unfold at the Principality Stadium.
We’ve taken a look into whether Juventus hold an advantage over Real Madrid due to holding their domestic title and if Real can stand up to the Italians’ threat despite not topping La Liga last year.
Juve have the advantage of holding bragging rights as domestic champion in their native Italy, but while Real may not hold La Liga’s crown, Los Blancos have never lost a Champions League or European final that they’ve entered without Spain’s league title.
No team has played in more European and Champions League finals than Real—14 in total—and the Spanish heavyweights also boast more titles than any other club in that regard, holding 11 altogether.
However, of those 11, Real have played five (45 percent) as non-domestic champions and won on all five occasions, showing just how proudly the capital club stands up to European nights whether they were Spain’s top team the previous season or not.
Tracing back as far as 2000, however, the numbers suggest teams holding their domestic title hold an advantage when coming up against non-domestic champions in European finals.
Of the 12 finals played between one team with their domestic crown and one team without, seven Champions League trophies have gone to the team who won their respective league the year prior to said final, a handsome 58 percent share:
Massimiliano Allegri’s Juve bring some audacious European winning figures of their own into the clash. Both the club’s European final victories (1985, 1996) fell directly after they won the Scudetto the previous campaign.
However, the difference between the two appears when we examine those finals in which Juventus have suffered defeat despite being Serie A champions the season prior to their European final appearance:
The Turin titans have in fact lost in five of the seven European final appearances they’ve made as Serie A title-holders—equal to 71 percent, which is a worrying majority considering Real have been so imperious whether they’re kings of Spain or not.
In total, Juve have made eight appearances in European or Champions League finals, with 1997 being the only year they did so without the honour of their domestic trophy.
The figures suggest that not only is it Real who cope better with the pressure of a European final—evidenced by their two wins in the last three years—but that they perhaps perform even better after failing to win La Liga the year previous.
This could be the year Real finally break their European curse and clinch back-to-back Champions League trophies, almost 30 years after AC Milan were the last team to book successive European triumphs in 1989 and 1990.