Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos acknowledged the impact of coach Zinedine Zidane in turning the club’s season around.
Zidane took over from Rafael Benitez in January and a huge reward followed on Saturday as Madrid clinched the Champions League.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored the decisive penalty as Zidane’s men beat Atletico Madrid 5-3 in the shoot-out after their 1-1 draw in Milan.
Ramos, who opened the scoring at San Siro, praised Zidane and said the Frenchman was crucial in the club’s 11th Champions League crown.
“I think that talking about Zizou is talking about humility, work, consistency, illusion, optimism and that is what he is showing since the first day he arrived and the team captured the message,” he said.
“At the end it was a change in the feeling with the players that wasn’t there before so there is the prize and it is fair for him be part of this victory.
“This is why we celebrate throwing him up to the air.”
Yannick Carrasco cancelled out Ramos’ goal, with Antoine Griezmann having missed a second-half penalty, before the shoot-out.
The 30-year-old Ramos said it was just what his team deserved after their campaign.
“It is a prize for the sacrifice of the daily effort after a tough season with ups and downs, lots of things that could change the team’s attitude and I think that this was our reward, playing the final and luckily winning it again,” he said.
“It really was incredible and an unforgettable feeling that leaves a little hole in your heart and we are going to have time to review the game.
“It was a very intense one because we had a rival that put their face in front of us doing their part trying to win and as Madrid captain I have to congratulate them for the great season they had, but in football just one can win and luckily the trophy is going to [our] home.”
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