Having taken Real Madrid to their third successive Champions League final, Zinedine Zidane’s secret is not as elusive as many might have thought.
Hard work and talent are the keys, Zidane told reporters in his pre-match press conference as Real Madrid look to win their a record third Champions League in a row.
Tomorrow will be your third Champions League final. What’s the secret?
“A lot of hard work and a lot of talent. To reach a final is not easy, at the same time we are delighted to be in another final.
In Champions League/European Cup history, no coach has won three in a row. What would that mean for you?
“If you look at it like that, all I can say is it is beautiful, this is what I do, it is my passion, I am a competitor and I like to compete. There is a lot of hard work behind it. If you like to complete and work hard, you can achieve what we are doing. This is a normal thing for me.
You said Cristiano would be at 150 percent for the game, is he there?
“He is doing great, and if is he has 149 percent then that is great too. This is our last game of the season and he lives to play these matches, it’s what makes him tick.
To those on the bench, will they not see themselves as great players?
“No! We shouldn’t think that way. As Isco said it isn’t nice, but I have to take those decisions as a coach. All those players are very good, but we have a team philosophy. Players might be disappointed, but when the match starts, they know they are part of the team. There will always be players who have to sit on the bench but they also contribute to the team, and that is important.
Will you suffer today?
“I’m not suffering today, as always just before a match we are delighted to be here. This moment we will not live again, we will be there to live other things in football. So, clearly we have to make the most of it. We might be under pressure, and feel excited. If I’m under a little pressure, this is life and that is being a human, and so what, all the better.
People have spoken about PSG, Juve, Bayern with Real Madrid coming up against strong trams, and now people think Real will win. Does that make the match dangerous?
“No, we don’t feel like that as it isn’t the truth. This is another final. We aren’t the favourites, this is a 50-50 situation, but we have to play a great match to win. We aren’t favourites of anything.
Klopp said you are both fighters. What is the difference between you and him?
“I was a little better than he was as a player. But as a coach, I have a lot of respect for him. He has a lot of experience, and what he has done in football is fantastic, he has been phenomenal. We don’t share too much in common as every coach is very different.
Do you feel highly valued?
“Yes, a little, and sometimes not (laughs) that is life. What is important for me it to do a great job and give my all. I tell my players to give their all, and if you have done your best and not gotten what you wanted, then that is out of your control.
What is chaos in football and how do you prepare?
“In football, it is very simple in football. There are two teams, and you have to understand how your opponent can hurt you, and you have to control how they do this. When you have the ball, with your game, you have to try and hurt your opponent. We have had difficult moments in matches, and we will tomorrow. We will try to stop them tomorrow, and then give them difficult moments.
Will you feel bad for leaving players on the bench?
“Yes, of course. I’ve said this repeatedly. This is a the worst moment for a coach, especially when in a final, as some players wont even put a jerseay on, but players know that. It is my responsibility and I have too understand that it is my job as well.