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Zidane expecting difficult Champions League final

Zinedine Zidane believes Real Madrid face a tough task in the final of the Champions League against city rivals Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

The capital clubs meet in European club football’s showpiece occasion for the second time in three years, with Madrid winning 4-1 after extra-time in Lisbon in 2014.

Zidane’s side come into the final on an incredible run of 12 league wins in a row, although that was not enough to snatch the Liga title from Barcelona.

The Frenchman insists the clash with Atletico is 50-50, although Madrid are “in good physical and mental shape”.

“We know it will be a difficult game but we are in good physical and mental shape,” Zidane told UEFA’s official website. 

“When you’re at this club you always have to give the maximum to win. And now we face the biggest game of the season.

“The end of league season has been extraordinary. We know it will be difficult against Atletico. As I said, it is 50-50 and it will be from the first minute to the last.”

Zidane added that he dreamed of playing for Real Madrid, with his stunning volley in the 2002 Champions League final against Bayer Leverkusen one of the best moments of his career.

“The best thing that happened to me was to play for Real Madrid. I dreamed of playing for this club, I wanted to wear the famous white shirt,” Zidane said. 

“Now I have the good fortune to train the best club in the world, so I’m a happy man.

“Yes, that volley from that Roberto Carlos centre… you only hit one of those once in your career. I tried to repeat it but it was something that happened that night and it was during the final of the Champions League. 

“There is no explanation for it. You just be happy and enjoy scoring a goal like that. 

“I had not won the Champions League and won with Real Madrid with a goal like that. I’ve been very fortunate to have experienced those moments at Real Madrid.”

Sun 22 May, 2016
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