Juventus
    29.08.2013 21:11 - in: Champions League S

    Group B rivals: Real Madrid

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    Antonio Conte will face opposing number Carlo Ancelotti, whose Milan side were Juventus’ great rivals in the 2000s, when the Bianconeri line up against Real Madrid

    Real Madrid are a team who need no introduction: awarded FIFA Club of the Century in 2000, blessed with a squad packed full of Galacticos and spearheaded by Cristiano Ronaldo

    The task that Juventus now face is to overcome the team that has won a record number of European Cup/Champions League titles, but the head-to-head record between the two is very much equal, with six victories apiece. In fact, in only one of the 14 meetings between the two have Real been able to score more than one goal.

    On 14 May 2003, they pulled off a famous 3-1 victory at the Stadio Delle Alpi, a performance that many Juventus fans remember as the “perfect game”. Goals from David Trezeguet, Alessandro Del Piero and Pavel Nedved in that semi-final match (as well as the penalty saved by Gigi Buffon) will forever live in the memory of the Bianconeri faithful.

    Last season in the Champions League, Los Blancos reached the semi-finals, progressing through the last-16 thanks in part to a controversial Nani sending off at Old Trafford against Manchester United, and then weathering the storm of a Didier Drogba-inspired comeback against Galatasaray to make it to the last four.

    There, they faced a Dortmund side who were in supreme form in the home leg, and Jose Mourinho’s men were unable to inflict enough damage in the return leg.

    Domestically, Real Madrid are the most successful team in Spanish football history (with 32 La Liga titles), but their traditional dominance has in recent years been challenged by a world-beating Barcelona side who many regard as the best in the history of the game.

    They did, however, clinch the title in 2011/12, becoming the first team to record 100 points in a single season under Mourinho.

    This campaign, the team have only managed narrow wins against Real Betis and Granada, but have succeeded in grinding out victories despite not playing to their full potential.

    The man in the dugout for Los Blancos this year is Carlo Ancelotti, a man who knows Juve from both sides having managed them from 1999 to 2001 before forming an intense Serie A rivalry with the Bianconeri as coach of Milan for the next eight years.

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