CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL: REAL MADRID

Real Madrid Training Session and Press Conference

Cristiano Ronaldo (L) and Gareth Bale (R) listen to Zinedine Zidane manager of Real Madrid.

 

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL: REAL MADRID

Mighty La Liga giant club Real Madrid face Liverpool Fc in 2018 Champions League Final


The road to Kiev is set for thousands of avid Liverpool and Real Madrid fans who are attending Saturday's Champions League Final in Ukraine. Ahead of the battle to be named "Kings of Europe", Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane talked with the press today at Real Madrid City at Open Media Day. Zidane spoke candidly about his side’s upcoming Champions League final with Liverpool in Kiev. Top, last minute, 150% guaranteed football tickets for the Champions League Final between Real Madrid and Liverpool are still for sale securely online from LiveFootballTickets.com!

 

May 26 UEFA Champions League Final 2018: Real Madrid v Liverpool Tickets Olimpiysky Stadium - Kiev, Ukraine


“I don't know how much our rivals want this, but what I can assure you of is the desire that this club has, it never goes away. No one can say we don't have that same hunger. We're Real Madrid and that is what we're about. We always strive for more and we will give it our all,” said Whites coach Zidane. “Our experience will not give us any edge at all. It's a football match and we have to show that we want to win it.”


Zidane was asked if his men want the Champions League trophy as much as Liverpool do.

 

“Real Madrid always look to win, but you can't always count on it. The important thing for us is to show our drive and ensure we don't slip up. You need setbacks in life if you want to improve. We are ready for the game. How can anyone think we have less hunger than our rivals? That is not true. They are going to throw everything at us and we know that. They had a great season and things can get tricky at any time. There are no surprises and both teams know each other really well. They are a good team, they made it to the final and they deserve to be here just like us. We must prepare for the game, look at our opponent’s flaws and try to hurt them. It is one match and we are both playing away from home. We are ready and experience will not give us any edge at all. It's a football match and we have to show that we want to win it. It's a final. We both want to win the trophy. Winning last year is irrelevant and so is the fact they have not reached the final for 11 years. We want to see a great football match and we are going to give it everything. It is always like that.”

Real Madrid UEFA Open Media Day

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane

“It is brilliant just to get to the final itself because it is never easy. Winning two Champions League finals was spectacular, we had to suffer. In the knockout stages, you have to play against the best in Europe and that has a certain important value, especially if you cast your memory back over the tough season we have had”, added Zidane. “We are in the final and we have four days to prepare for it. The hardest part is getting into the final. It has been complicated this year and winning away from home never means the tie is dead. This time we will fight to the death”.


Zidane talked about his experience as a manager and former footballer.


"I know how things work in the dressing room and sometimes the magic doesn’t happen if they do not get along. Perhaps you can still win trophies, but to win regularly you need a good, united dressing room. My players get along well. They work very well together and just that talent alone is not enough. Without hard work, you cannot win. They have that raw talent and also the work ethic. It is not simply that it is the third final in a row. I have a group of incredible players. When I was a player I did not what being on the bench was like, but it must be hard," said Zidane. “I spent 17 or 18 years as a player, worked with many coaches and some gifted players with the ego to match. I know very well how players think and that is important for a coach, but that's not the only thing. That will not win you games, you need grit and a philosophy."

 

"Tactically I'm not the best coach, the press say it themselves, but I have the drive and passion and that means a lot. It was much easier for me as a player,” continued Zidane. “You all know what I do well and badly. I am so passionate about football. Every now and then things give me a headache but that is the life of a coach. The people on the bench are also very important. The players that do not start cannot think they will not feature at all because from the bench my players can make a real difference and be the game changer. I want everyone switched on. That's why I am not saying now who plays because that can damage a footballer."

 

"I’ve been here for almost three years. There has not been a specific moment that stands out. If I have to highlight something it is the day to day work. If you look at how we work, despite the difficulties we’ve come across, we deliver, we have the enthusiasm needed and the desire to always give it our best. I always remain positive. My parents taught me that. If you think you're going to fail then you most likely will. You must always stay positive”.

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Zidane was asked about the fitness of “top dog” Cristiano Ronaldo, and about CR7’s relationship with Benzema.


“A player can go through some hard times, but when he does not score he does not get wound up. He knows that the next game he could maybe score two or three goals. That is what happened this year. That's what makes him the best. There are players that do not thrive under pressure but some do thrive. He is one of those that do. The more you criticize him, the more you should beware. I am a quiet person and in the end, it is better to have Cristiano Ronaldo by your side because he shows year in year out that he is top dog. He will be vital because he is the best there is”.

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Cristiano Ronaldo who won his fifth Ballon d'Or in 2017 said, “My motivation is still intact, I strive to get better every day.”

“I don't know what it is exactly, but I know these kinds of things don't happen all the time. You can get great players who do not link up well, but they do. When a group works hard and connects well it is a great thing. All of the work we do throughout the week is what fosters such a strong link,” said Zidane about the Cristiano Ronaldo-Benzema link.

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Superstar striker Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane

Real Madrid UEFA Open Media Day

Cristiano Ronaldo exercises with Real Madrid teammates under the guidance of their head coach Zinedine Zidane during a training session ahead of the UEFA Champions League Final match between Real Madrid and Liverpool at Valdebebas training ground on May 22, 2018 in Madrid, Spain.

Zidane was also asked about the fitness of Welshman Gareth Bale and his line-up.

“He is doing well, he scored plenty of goals and has found real continuity, especially in terms of regular training. He did well in the run-in, scoring goals and performing well,” said Zidane about Bale. "I'm not going to tell you. You’ll see soon enough. They can’t all play, some of my players are set and some are not going to play at all. That's the hardest thing: to reach the final and know that you're not going to get any game time. "

Ahead of the Champions League Final clash with Liverpool, Zidane talked about his respect for Liverpool boss Jergen Klopp.

“He is a great coach, he showed that at Dortmund and he continues to impress with Liverpool, which is paramount. I have loads of respect for him, he is an expert coach”.