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Zidane: "There's a great deal of hard work that goes in to reaching three finals in a row"

NEWS | 25/05/2018 | Alberto Navarro (Kiev)

"We're a tight-knit group and a player who starts on the bench may also bring something to the team", insisted the Whites' boss.
Zinedine Zidane addressed the press gathered inside the media room at Kiev's Olympic Stadium on the eve of the Champions League final against Liverpool. When quizzed about the secret behind reaching three finals in a row, the madridista boss commented: "There's a great deal of hard work that goes into reaching three consecutive finals and a lot of talent too. Reaching a final is far from easy. We're happy to have made it through to another final. We'll experience other things in our lives but this moment will never come around again. There'll be an element of pressure, but that makes things all the more special. As human beings, we all have emotions".

"You need to work out how the opposition can hurt you and try to control that. When in possession we'll have to attempt to hurt the opposition, whilst bearing in mind the way they play. There are always moments of madness in games and it's a case of trying to suffer as little as possible when out of possession and do damage when we attack. We'll have to dig in, there's no question about that".

"There's a lot of things that are said, but we know very well that it's not the case. Neither side is the favourite. It's a final and we've both got a 50% chance of winning. We'll have to put in a big performance to try and win the game. Within the dressing room, we know that we're not the favourites at all".

No other coach has lifted three European Cups in a row
"What we've got the chance of achieving tomorrow is special. I've always been competitive and it's my passion. When you enjoy competing, and all the more so at Real Madrid, and you work hard, you can achieve what we have. There's a great deal of work from the players that has gone into this and that's what this club is all about. I consider it to be perfectly normal".

Cristiano Ronaldo lives and breathes for these kinds of games.

"I see Cristiano Ronaldo as being in good shape. We have our final training session tonight and tomorrow is our last game of the season. He lives and breathes for these kinds of games".

Do you feel appreciated?
"Yes, why wouldn't I? Although sometimes I don't. The most important thing is that things are done right and that you give your all. The consequences aren't so important. There's nothing better than the satisfaction you get from giving your all. If the opposition are better than you, there's nothing you can do about it. I'm appreciated because I give my all. What I can't control is what others say, but that doesn't matter". 

Substitutes and those to be left out of the squad
"Ramos and Marcelo are definitely going to play. I'm the one who gets lumbered with making the decisions. All of my players are very good and many of them will not make the squad, whilst others will be on the bench. We think only as a team and when the whistle blows, everyone will be right behind the team".

"We're a tight-knit group. A player who starts the game on the bench can bring something to the side and be an important player, but picking your team is the worst thing for a coach. There are some players that will keep their place in the team and others that won't play, but the players know that and it's my responsibility. It's one I've got to accept".

Praise for Klopp
"As a player, I was a bit better than him but he wasn't bad. I have great respect for him as a coach. He has terrific experience and has done a marvellous job in the game. I don't know whether we're similar. Every coach is different".