Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta has grudgingly accepted Real Madrid and Juventus are deserving Champions League finalists.
Serie A leaders Juve dispatched Monaco 4-1 on aggregate in their semi-final to reach the showpiece in Cardiff, having overcome Barca in the previous round.
Madrid, meanwhile, will take the defence of the trophy right to the final game after beating Atletico Madrid 4-2 across the two legs of their last-four encounter.
Iniesta, a four-time winner of the trophy, says his interest is minimal given that he will not be involved but accepts Juve and Madrid deserve their shot at glory.
“Madrid and Juve are just finalists for the Champions League, but you lose interest when you’re not playing the final,” he told a media event in Barcelona.
Iniesta was man-of-the-match when Barca beat Juve 3-1 to win the trophy in 2015 and holds the distinction of having assisted a goal in three finals.
However, the Spain international claims his stoppage-time goal against Chelsea in the semi-final of 2009 is his greatest moment in the competition.
“My best memory of the Champions League is the semi-final against Chelsea in 2009,” he said.
Eleven-time winners Real Madrid have been crowned European champions more than any other club, so it is perhaps not surprising it is they who are one match away from becoming the first team to retain the Champions League.
Real’s progress to their second successive final has been relatively smooth, though they did need two controversial goals to overcome quarter-final opponents Bayern Munich in extra time.
That victory was sealed by a hat-trick from Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, who then put Zidane’s side on the verge of the final with another treble against Atletico.
The three-goal cushion gave a margin of error to Real and, after a wobbly opening 20 minutes, they regained control of the semi-final after Isco’s strike.
Another giant of the European game stands in their way.
Italian champions Juventus, who progressed with a 4-1 aggregate win over Monaco, are attempting to win their first Champions League title in 21 years.
The final will be a replay of the 1998 showpiece when Real were crowned European champions for the seventh time – after a 32-year wait – thanks to Predrag Mijatovic’s goal.
And it means a reunion for Madrid manager Zidane, who played in that final for the Italian side, with his former club.
“It has been a very important club for me in my career and I keep it as a club that has given me everything. It is going to be something special,” said the Frenchman, who played for Juve between 1996 and 2001.