On Saturday night, the challenge was once again too much for Juventus. In fact, the weight of history was too much for the famous old Italian team as they lost 4-1 in Cardiff to a superior Real Madrid side.
This was their seventh defeat in a final and there was the sad yet dignified sight of a 39-year-old Gianluigi Buffon gently applauding Juventus fans as ‘We are the Champions’ bellowed in the background. The face said it all; this trophy seems beyond him.
This was a game of two halves. In a surprisingly open first half, Juventus battled Real Madrid to a 1-1 draw, But Bianconeri entered the break level after Mario Mandzukic’s brilliant equaliser had cancelled out Cristiano Ronaldo’s 20th opener for Real.
But in the second half Real Madrid went to another level and scored twice in quick succession just after the hour mark in what Allegri conceded was “a tough 15 minutes” to all but end the final as a contest.
“I am very proud of what the lads achieved this season. We came here to win the trophy and didn’t manage it,” Allegri told Mediaset Premium.
“We played a really good first half and didn’t make the most of our chances. [Miralem] Pjanic had a knee problem, Real Madrid raised the tempo and we had a tough 15 minutes.
“We conceded that goal with a deflection and then let go psychologically. We should’ve reacted and defended with nails and teeth, but this is another step we have to take in [the] future to learn from this and mature.
“Even if Real Madrid had a very good second half and have excellent players who can change the game at any moment, that second goal knocked the wind out of our sails.
“We should’ve reacted, but you can’t do anything with ifs, buts and shoulds. Life gives us the opportunity to try again next year, so we must calmly analyse where we can improve as a team, in our football and in our mentality.
“They raised the tempo, as we were the ones pushing Real Madrid back in the first half, but in the second we couldn’t play our way out of defence and they kept pushing us back.
“At that moment, we should’ve taken out the extra energy to push hard and keep the game open, as we know Real Madrid leave you the chances to score at all times, but we conceded the third goal and that was really damaging.
“We begin next season determined to have another great Champions League campaign, win the Scudetto and the Coppa Italia. We need to gather our thoughts, fire up our energy and fight back, because we can learn from this and improve.”