Madrid, May 22 (IANS) Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane on Tuesday said his team was just as hungry as Liverpool to win the UEFA Champions League final.
The French coach also warned that having more experience did not guarantee Real a third consecutive Champions League title when they face off on Saturday against the Reds in Kiev, Ukraine, reports Efe.
“How can anyone think we have less hunger than our rivals? That’s not true,” Zidane said at a press conference.
“Our experience will not give us any edge at all. It’s a football match and we have to show that we want to win it,” he added. “Winning last year is irrelevant.”
“What I can assure you of is the desire that this club has, it never goes away. No one can say we do not have that same hunger. We are Real Madrid and that is what we are about. We always strive for more and we will give it our all,” he said.
Zidane did not reveal his 11-man starting lineup for Kiev, saying: “I want everyone switched on. That’s why I am not saying now who plays, because that can damage a footballer.”
Still, Zidane seemed inclined toward the “BBC” lineup featuring Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo.
“The BBC are the best by far,” he said. “But other players need opportunities, because if not, the message that everyone is important does not ring true.”
Regarding Liverpool, Zidane stressed that his opponents have more depth than just the offensive trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
“People say they are just the three up front and have nothing at the back. No, it’s a team that made the final and deserves it, as do we. My work is to prepare well for the game, to see the weak points in our rival and to try to damage them,” he explained.
Zidane also praised Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp, saying “He’s a great coach, he showed that at Dortmund and he continues to impress with Liverpool.”