On 2 June at Juventus Stadium, football history will be out there on the field.
The 16 previous European duels between Juventus and Real Madrid, legends of whom will be coming up against each other once again in the UNESCO Cup to raise funds for child soldiers in Africa, have gone down in history, each one more epic than the next.
And the fans will no doubt be delighted once again when heroes from the history books of both sides recreate the spectacle of famous clashes from times gone by, the first of which dates back to 1961/62.
Alfredo Di Stefano secured a win for the Real Madrid visitors at the Stadio Comunale in the first leg, but Omar Sivori – the first Ballon d’Or winner in the black and white stripes – levelled the tie in the second at the Bernabeu.
One of the absolute standout encounters is the 1996 Champions League meeting, with a place in the semi-finals up for grabs.
Raul opened the scoring in Madrid, and although the Bianconeri were subsequently unable to overcome the defence led by Fernando Hierro (one of the Real legends to play in the UNESCO Cup), the 1-0 scoreline at the final whistle had the potential to be overturned…
And it was, in style: Marcello Lippi’s Juve emerged at the Bernabeu determined and with a real spring in their step, and Alessandro Del Piero found the corner of the net after just 16 minutes with a magical free-kick.
Then it was Michele Padovano’s time to shine, controlling well in the centre of the area and arrowing a low shot past Real goalkeeper Santiago Canizares. The Bianconeri had done it – they had overturned the deficit – and they would go on to pull off an even more spectacular achievement at the end of their European journey: the Champions League title.
Two years later, however, Real would get their revenge in the Champions League final held in Amsterdam. Moreno Torricelli, Mark Iuliano, Paolo Montero, Angelo Di Livio, Alessio Tacchinardi, Edgar Davids, Gianluca Pessotto and Zinedine Zidane were all wearing the black and white stripes that day, and will be back in action together on 2 June, this time with Zizou on the opposing team.
The duel continued in 2003, the year Pavel Nedved won the Ballon d’Or, and the Czech was one of the stars of the show in this clash.
Real came out on top in the first leg on Spanish soil with a 2-1 win, but the visitors managed to grab a crucial goal via David Trezeguet, who latched onto a Del Piero cross just before half-time.
And that strike was the starting point for Juve’s supreme second-leg performance which has now come to be known as ‘the perfect game’.
The Bianconeri had the better of the 2005 match-up, too, despite a 1-0 defeat in the first leg at the Bernabeu. With Camoranesi, Tacchinardi and Nedved fighting for victory in the second leg, a spectacular strike from Trezeguet and Marcelo Zalayeta’s missile from distance meant Juve managed it on a glorious night in Turin.
The final outing of the legends taking part in the UNESCO Cup was had by Nedved in the 2008 Champions League group stage, when Juve pulled off a spectacular home and away double over their Spanish opposition. Goals from Del Piero and Amauri lifted them to victory at home, and Del Piero’s winning double at the Bernabeu drew a standing ovation from all present at the famous ground.