Max Allegri is the unwanted manager on the verge of history.
He arrived at Juventus in July 2014 and his car was spat at, kicked and pelted with eggs.
Juventus fans did not want a former AC Milan manager to succeed Antonio Conte and yet Allegri has become the man who would be king.
The 49-year-old is now one win away from the Treble, having already won Serie A (celebrating with Juan Cuadrado, right) and the Italian Cup, and can end Juventus’ 21-year wait to claim the Champions League.
They would become only the second Italian club in history – after Inter Milan in 2009-10 – to achieve the Treble but will have to overcome the odds against firm favourites Real Madrid.
Juve lost the Champions League final to Barcelona in 2015, they have lost six of their eight European finals, and overcoming that mental block is one of the key issues for Allegri.
But victory would elevate the Italian manager to superstar status in the coaching fraternity, up there with Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho and the rest. In fact, it might make him the new king.
Allegri said: “We’ve lost six finals, but history doesn’t count. There’s no point thinking of what happened 15, 20 or 50 years ago.
“In 2015, we got to the final and deserved the final, but we perhaps were not strongly motivated. We didn’t feel confident enough, because we’d had struggles in the Champions League for a number of years.
“We didn’t get to the final by chance, but we didn’t expect to win.
“In 2016, we had a good season in the Champions League, but lost to Bayern Munich one minute from time.
“This year it was different. We’ve been growing gradually. Now it’s completely different. Juventus have improved a lot.”
Allegri insists his thoughts are not focused on rewriting the history books, but says he has no doubt in his players’ ability to emerge victorious tonight.
“I’ve not thought about the Treble at all. I live one day after the other,” he added. “We’ve won the Coppa Italia and Serie A. Now we play a final to close an extraordinary season and we’ll try to make it even more extraordinary.
“It’s an important test for all of us. Playing a Champions League final does not happen to everybody. We’ve had this chance twice in three years. We’re very proud of that. But it’s not enough.
“We must win. We must be tough, technically and tactically. We didn’t come here to visit Cardiff. We came here to win.”
By Mirror Massimiliano Allegri
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