Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has stated that Saturday’s UEFA Champions League final against Liverpool is evenly balanced, dismissing suggestions that the Spanish giants are the favourites.
Holders Madrid are seeking their third straight Champions League title and the 13th in their history.
On their part, Liverpool will be hoping to land their sixth title after last winning it in 2005.
“We aren’t the favourites, this is a 50-50 situation,” Zidane said in his press conference on Friday.
“But we have to play a great match to win. We aren’t favourites of anything. In football, it is very simple in football. There are two teams, and you have to understand how your opponent can hurt you, and you have to control how they do this.
“When you have the ball, with your game, you have to try and hurt your opponent.
“We have had difficult moments in matches, and we will tomorrow.
“We will try to stop them tomorrow, and then give them difficult moments.”
Zidane who won the Champions League as a player with Madrid in 2002, scoring a spectacular volley in the 2-1 win against Bayer Leverkusen, said the secret of Madrid success in Europe’s elite club competition is hard work.
“A lot of hard work and a lot of talent,” he said. “To reach a final is not easy. At the same time, we are delighted to be in another final.
“I am a competitor and I like to compete. There is a lot of hard work behind it. If you like to complete and work hard, you can achieve what we are doing. This is a normal thing for me.”
He played down being under pressure ahead of Saturday’s clash.
“I’m not suffering today, as always just before a match we are delighted to be here,” he said.
“This moment we will not live again, we will be there to live other things in football. So, clearly we have to make the most of it. We might be under pressure, and feel excited.
“If I’m under a little pressure, this is life and that is being a human, and so what, all the better.
“What is important for me it to do a great job and give my all. I tell my players to give their all, and if you have done your best and not gotten what you wanted, then that is out of your control.”
And speaking about Jurgen Klopp, Zidane joked he was a better player than the German but confessed his admiration for what he has achieved as a coach.
“I was a little better than he was as a player, but as a coach I have a lot of respect for him. He has a lot of experience, and what he has done in football is fantastic.
“He has been phenomenal. We don’t share too much in common as every coach is very different.”