Zinedine Zidane is relishing leading his Real Madrid side out to take on his former club Juventus in what he thinks will be a beautiful UEFA Champions League final.
Real looked to be in complete control of their semi-final tie against city rivals Atletico when they stormed into a 3-0 first leg lead at the Bernabeu last week, but they had a real scare when Los Rojiblancos scored twice within the first 16 minutes of the return. However, Isco pulled one back just before half-time to effectively seal Los Blancos’ place in the final.
There, they will meet Juventus, who overcame Monaco in the other last-four clash. This will mark an emotional reunion with Zidane, who spent five years in Turin as a player before leaving for Real in 2001. Speaking after guiding the Spanish giants to the final, the former France international spoke of his pride in his players and the excitement at meeting the Bianconeri in Cardiff.
“I’m very happy to reach the final,” he said. “It’s a long road, and to do it two years in a row, you have to congratulate this squad. It will of course be special to play Juventus in the final because they were a club very important to me as a player, and a club that also gave me everything. Now I am with Real Madrid, the club of my life, and it will be a beautiful final.
“They [Juventus] deserved to the final, and so did we. I am content and proud to be in the final. It shows I’m doing something right as a manager, but with this squad, all of them are doing something phenomenal. The credit goes to the squad, they are the ones on the pitch, they are the ones who play, who fight, who always do the maximum on the pitch. But we haven’t won anything yet.”