Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane is hoping to emulate one of his predecessors Carlo Ancelotti in Saturday’s Champions League final.
Zidane was assistant to the Italian when Madrid saw off city rivals Atletico 4-1 following extra time in Lisbon to lift the European Cup for the 10th time two years ago.
Now, Zidane is in charge – having taken over from Rafael Benitez in January – and Madrid stand on the brink of a second title in three seasons.
Atletico provide the opponents once again at San Siro and Zidane fondly recalled a chat between himself and Ancelotti prior to the 2014 showdown.
“When the match begins I’ll be more tense, but that’s usual. It’s part of the coaching job and I like it,” the Frenchman said.
“I like this kind of pressure. I’ve experienced it as a player, but as a coach it’s completely different.
“Carlo Ancelotti used to tell me that often, before the final in Lisbon he said to me ‘I hope you get to experience this some day as coach’ and, well, here we and I keep thinking of Carlo.”
Zidane sees an improvement among his players in recent months, but says that will count for little once Saturday’s game kicks off against a difficult and stubborn Atletico side.
“I think we’re a bit better in every dimension, but in a final that’s meaningless really,” he said. “I’m happy because we’ve done a huge job in the meantime and I really, really believe in hard work.
“The players have done an amazing job, now we have a final ahead of us. We just have to give our all and tomorrow we’ll see what happens but we know we’re ready.
“They [Atletico] do well against everyone, not just Real Madrid. We know how they’re working, there’s a good reason why they’re in the final. They’re doing a really good job and the same applies to us.
“Tomorrow there’s a match on and let’s see who wins it.”