Real Madrid held the traditional open media day for all the press members before the UCL Final in Kiev. Zinedine Zidane the coach of Real Madrid talked about the preparations and addressed the anticipation from Liverpool.
Published By: Dalipinder Singh Sandhu (Bliss)
The Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane is ready to take his side to Kiev for the third consecutive UCL title. He insists that his side is not quenched due to the past success in the competition and will continue to seek more of titles to add in the cabinet.
“I don’t know how hungry they are, but we definitely want more and nobody can say they’re hungrier than us. We’re Real Madrid and this club always wants more so we will give our best to achieve it.”
Liverpool have three of the best players in attack who are now the showcase footballers for the club. Zinedine Zidane acknowledges the individual brilliance of Mane, Firmino, and Salah but knows that it is the team as a whole which managed to reach the final.
“You always hear so much about the three players up front but this is a team who reached the Final and they all deserve it just like we do. My job is to prepare for this game as always, trying to take advantage of their weaknesses.”
The Real Madrid starting XI has been always a surprise for the fans under Zinedine Zidane. A player could score a hattrick today and might not even come off the bench in the next match. The French coach addressed the squad depth and the potential players who could feature in Kiev.
“If you tell a player who’s going to play three or four days earlier, you kill him.”
“I’ve got 25 players at my disposal and they all have to get a chance because otherwise, my message to them would not be working. All three members of the BBC are the best for me, they’ve proven time and time again that they are extremely good, but you also have to consider what you see day by day and I have to prove that what I say is also what I do. That doesn’t mean they won’t play together, but I will not tell you who will start.”
“Every once in a while it hurts my head to think who should play and who shouldn’t.”
“Of course, I’m not going to tell you. Some players will not play. We will see which eleven on Saturday & I won’t tell you.”
Zidane has been ridiculed for favoring Benzema but the French striker scored two goals against Bayern Munich which saw Real Madrid advancing to the final. Zidane has been proven right for choosing Benzema in the UCL and the boss believes the playing style of Karim is compatible with that of Cristiano.
“Cristiano and Benzema have a speacial connection.”
Zidane was asked about if he would have Mohammed Salah in his team, the coach gave an interesting reply to it.
“No, I have Cristiano and I talk about my players only.”
Gareth Bale has been said to be sad for the lack of playing time he’s gotten this season especially when he came back from the injury in the second part of the season. The Spanish media has scrutinized his future in Madrid and will he start in the UCL Final ahead of Isco is yet to be seen. Zidane claims that Bale has contributed to the club in more ways than just scoring goals.
“Bale has done a very good job, not only scoring goals.”
If there is one manager who has the pleasure of reminiscing a victory over Madrid in UCL then Jurgen Klopp will probably feature in the first few names of the short list. The German coach has managed to cruise past Madrid in 2013 UCL semi-final with Dortmund. Zidane talked in high praise of the Liverpool boss.
“I have not met him but he has done a phenomenal job. He’s great, he proved that in Dortmund and now in Liverpool, not only in the Champions League but also in the Premier League. I have huge respect for him.”
Zidane has been said to be a tactically weak coach but having a great advantage in man management as he has been a star player and knows how to manage a squad full of big names.
“I don’t know if when I was playing everything was easier, I don’t know if I’ve been a better player or coach. What I have is a passion for football.”
“I’m not the best coach tactically, I don’t need to say it because the press says it, but I have something else, I have the passion.”
“My management of the dressing room is conditioned by my career as a player. I know very well how a dressing room works and the head of a player.”
“Madrid’s dressing room is very good, they’re united and work very well. Talent is not enough, it takes work.”
Real Madrid enters the competition with a lot at stake for a successful season as this would be the only trophy they can win this season which would compensate for the poor form in La Liga and Copa Del Rey. For the club of Madrid’s magnitude, it’s a must win. Whereas, Liverpool have the leisure of having nothing to lose as they haven’t set a high precedent for a long time now and the victory would be a fantasy dream come true for them.
Zinedine Zidane claims that he has suffered the nadir this season and will travel to Kiev in a positive mindset.
“It would not be a failure. To me, the failure happened when we were knocked out of the Copa Del Rey at home, that was very tough. Madrid always want to win it all but sometimes you just lose. If you give it all there’s no failure. There are ups and downs in life and you just have to learn from your mistakes.”
“I don’t know what’s going to happen in the final, but I’ll always be positive. If I thought negatively we couldn’t get it.”
Amidst all the pressure on the club and the players, Zidane is confident of his showbiz footballer and 5-time Ballon d’Or winner: Cristiano Ronaldo that he will shine under the lights once again as usual.
“Cristiano doesn’t get nervous in bad times. The more he’s been criticized the more he works, the pressure cannot get to him.”
If Real Madrid manage to win the trophy this would be their fourth in the last 5 years and Real Madrid will become the only team to win it 3 times in a row since the new era of the competition. Last season Real Madrid broke the record by becoming the only team to defend the title as they lifted their 12th European Cup in Cardiff.
Will Liverpool be able to spill ink on the history being written by Real Madrid? That will be seen on 26th of May 2018 at 7:45 PM CET when both teams face each other for the UEFA Champions League Final in Kiev, Ukraine. The match will be telecasted all over the globe via the official broadcasting partners of UEFA.