Zidane ‘happy’ to be back in final

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane was ecstatic after his side reached Europe’s showcase final for the 15th time on Wednesday after defeating Atletico Madrid over two legs.

A 2-1 defeat at the Vicente Calderon in their Champions League semi-final on Wednesday saw Real progress 4-2 on aggregate as Zidane’s team made it to the final for the second time in two years.

The Frenchman, who took the reins in January 2016, oversaw a victory over Atleti in last year’s final.

“I’m happy as the coach as it means that what I’m doing, I’m doing well, but this squad have all been phenomenal,” Zidane said.

“It is those on the pitch who play, run, fight and always give everything they can. But we haven’t won anything yet.”

Madrid will look to defend their title next month and are looking for their 12th victory in the competition when they take on Zidane’s former club Juventus in Cardiff.

Zidane, who played for The Old Lady between 1996 and 2001, told reporters what it meant to him.

“It’s special, for sure, (Juventus) gave me everything,” he said.

“But I’m with Real Madrid, another club of my life. It will be a beautiful final. We know the path is long and hard and that they deserve to be there and I think we do too.”



Zidane was also pleased with the way Madrid reacted after going two goals down in the first 16 minutes.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick in the first-leg had given them one foot into the final, but early strikes from Saul Niguez and Antoine Griezmann put the pressure on Real.

“With tranquility and patience, we knew we were going to get chances,” Zidane said.

“After 25 minutes it all changed. In the second half we found our game.

“Isco got between the lines and like always with his quality, he does damage to the opponent.”

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