Madrid, May 5 (IANS) Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane has heaped praise on his footballers for putting up an impressive performance that helped them beat Manchester City 1-0 in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final here on Wednesday.
Real Madrid will now face cross-town rivals Atletico Madrid, who earlier defeated Bayern Munich, in summit clash in Milan on May 28.
Real Madrid, winners of a record 10 Champions League trophies, are headed to their 14th final.
“We suffered, like we knew we’d have to. In the end we’ve made it and we’re really happy. The players deserve this. The fans were with the players for the whole game and that always helps,” Zidane was quoted as saying by uefa.com on Wednesday.
“Cristiano (Ronaldo) played like he always does, but everyone worked hard and that’s why we’re in the final. I’m delighted for what has happened. The final will be perfectly even, but now we’re going to enjoy this. It’s an important day.”
The former Real Madrid star said that his side is looking forward to final against Atletico and termed the summit clash to be a complicated one.
“I’m very happy but not just for myself. I’m happy for the players because they did a great job. You always suffer in a semi-final but reaching the final is the most important thing for us. We must enjoy this moment with the fans but we haven’t done anything yet.
“We know we will have a complicated match on May 28; now we have to rest and think of our game on Sunday,” the coach cautioned.
The 43-year-old 1998 FIFA World Cup winner also expressed happiness for having got the opportunity to coach the side.
“I’m very happy to have the opportunity to manage these players. Everybody is important. We must keep on working together and thinking that we can do important things. That’s what we did tonight. I’m the coach and I do something good for sure but this is about the team.”
“The players are the most important because they allow me to enjoy football. I’m happy watching what they do every day. You must live every day with intensity and thinking that it could be your last,” Zidane added.