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Perez hails Zidane after dramatic Champions League win

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez hailed coach Zinedine Zidane in the wake of their penalty shoot-out victory over Atletico Madrid in Saturday’s Champions League final.

Zidane replaced Rafael Benitez as the man in charge at the Santiago Bernabeu midway through the season and the former France international led his team to European glory within five months.

Sergio Ramos gifted Madrid a first-half lead, before Yannick Carrasco levelled the scoring after the break to send the game into extra time.

Penalties eventually decided the match at San Siro, with Cristiano Ronaldo firing his team to their 11th European Cup success after Juanfran missed from the spot.

“I feel very proud to be president of Real Madrid right now,” Perez told reporters.

“Zidane has been very important for Real Madrid. He told me the same thing he told me back in 2001: ‘I got it, president.’ The players will go to Cibeles tonight to celebrate.

“Every season is difficult. We fought right until the final whistle. The Champions League is in Madrid’s DNA. It is the most important competition for us.”

On Ronaldo he added: “The whole world knows that I want Cristiano to stay at Madrid for the rest of his life. He is one of the pillars of this club.”

Atletico were beaten in the European Cup final for the third time in their rich history, but Perez had words of encouragement for the Vicente Calderon side.

“Atletico Madrid have shown over the past few years that they are at a very high level,” he added.

“Someday they will win the Champions League.”

Sat 28 May, 2016
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