Zidane hails Real’s ‘big effort’

Zinedine Zidane admits Real Madrid made their fans suffer against Manchester City but revealed his pride at his players for making it to the Champions League final.

Gareth Bale’s deflected strike saw Los Blancos earn a 1-0 win at the Bernabeu, which sets up a mouth-watering clash with fierce rivals Atletico Madrid at Milan’s San Siro on May 28.

And while Real largely dominated the second leg, Zidane insists it was a hard-fought victory, and praised the work-rate of his team, which was boosted by the return of Cristiano Ronaldo from injury.

“We knew that it would be difficult, but finally, we’re in the final,” Zidane told beIN Sports. “I’m happy with the work of all my players.

“The crowd at the Bernabeu is always special for us and the fans helped in a difficult match from the first minute. They suffered with us until the end.

“Cristiano was focused on his work – he even helped in defence. That’s thanks to all the team. My team made a big effort and if we had lost this match, it wouldn’t be a failure.”

Real beat Atletico in the final two years ago, after the match was taken to extra-time, and Zidane expects another close encounter.

“The final will be 50 percent for each team. We got to the final, but we haven’t won yet,” he added.