Barca and Juve take aim at Euro final milestones

Frank Dalleres
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Lionel Messi is hunting yet another record
A COLLISION between two European heavyweights is reason enough to watch the Champions League final between Barcelona and Juventus, but the occasion could be lent further sheen by a number of milestones that may be achieved in Berlin tomorrow evening.

Both Barca and Juve stand to complete the treble if they win the Champions League. Only seven times has a club has attained the combination of domestic league title, domestic cup and European Cup, but three of those have come in the last six seasons, the most recent being Jupp Heynckes’ Bayern Munich in 2013.

He owns most other records, and Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi could claim another one if he scores against the Italians. No player has ever netted in three European Cup or Champions League finals, and the mesmerising Argentinian already has strikes in the 2009 and 2011 showpieces to his name.

Veteran midfield metronomes Xavi and Andrea Pirlo, the men who have made Barca and Juve tick, are both set to leave their clubs this summer. Xavi is aiming to bow out with a fourth winners’ medal, having been part of Barca’s successful 2006, 2009 and 2011 sides, while Pirlo, who lifted the trophy twice at AC Milan, is chasing a hat-trick.

Juventus could achieve an unwanted record if they fulfil their underdog status. The Serie A winners are one of three teams to have lost five European Cup finals – one more would set a new benchmark. Juve left-back Patrice Evra is hoping to avoid a fifth loss in the final, while striker Alvaro Morata could become just the fourth player to win the final in successive seasons with different clubs, after Samuel Eto’o, Paulo Sousa and Marcel Desailly.

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