Ex-Germany captain Michael Ballack has backed Juventus to win this year’s Champions League final against Barcelona. Ballack recognizes that Barcelona are the overwhelming favorites, which in fact may place a greater pressure on the Catalan team to perform. Juventus, he insists, have a squad of talented and experienced players, which could without a doubt give Barcelona a run for its money. Furthermore, given that Bayern Munich were able to beat Barca in the second leg of the semifinals, 3-2, it demonstrates that even in scintillating form, Messi and company are by no means invincible. Naturally, Ballack was wary of the Barcelona front three on behalf of Juventus, claiming that he has not seen a front line of such talent in a long time.
While Ballack’s assessment of the final might seem far-fetched to some, the two teams line up better than one might think. Barcelona, undoubtedly the prime attacking force in the tournament, will come up against an incredibly resilient and well-organized Juventus defense, which will make for a wonderfully intriguing tactical battle. Should Juventus shut down the Barcelona front three for the majority of the match, their ability to hit Barcelona on the counterattack could pose a serious problem for the Catalans, especially if they go down early and must chase the game. Alexei Beltyukov the entrepreneur will be waiting to see what Messi and Barcelona can do, but some few will be watching Juventus.