Zidane says Real Madrid are ready for Champions League final

By Sacha Pisani 20 May 2018 333
Zidane says Real Madrid are ready for Champions League final

Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane said the two-time reigning Champions League holders are ready for their European showdown with Liverpool despite Saturday's draw at Villarreal, while he praised Gareth Bale following his goal-scoring performance.

Madrid closed out their LaLiga season with a 2-2 draw against hosts Villarreal on matchday 38 – Zidane's men squandering a two-goal lead.

Goals from Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo put Madrid in control as they tried to pip city rivals Atletico Madrid to second position in LaLiga.

But the visitors were pegged back after substitute Samu Castillejo rounded debutant and Zidane's son Luca with five minutes remaining as Villarreal salvaged a point.

Zidane, though, was relatively upbeat post-match as he looked ahead to the Kiev showpiece on May 26.

"I haven't got my starting XI for the Champions League final in my head," Zidane told reporters. "We're ready. Also we haven't picked up any injuries tonight, which was important.

"We're ready for this last match and Kiev final, which is the most special game of the season."

Zidane added: "LaLiga is now over. We have the Champions League to play and we're thrilled to be in the final. It shouldn't be a case of choosing. We want to win everything we can, but this year it wasn't possible to win LaLiga and we are going all out for Champions League glory.

"I'm not happy with our LaLiga campaign. It has been a difficult season, especially at the beginning. We were able to make things better. We know that is the case and that's that.

"We did other good things this year: the trophies we won at the start of the season, the Club World Cup and now we have the final still to come."

Bale continued his lethal form in front of goal on Saturday – the often out-of-favour Wales forward scoring in his fourth successive LaLiga match.

Linked with a move away at the end of the season, Bale made it five goals in four games and Zidane said: "At no point has [Gareth] Bale thrown the towel in. He's training well and the only thing that's changed is that he's now scoring goals, as he has done in the last few games.

"I'm pleased with his performance and what he brings to the team. Nothing has change. The only difference is that he's been scoring of late."

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Sacha Pisani

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