I have a good friend from Aragon who always says his goodbye adding the motivational phrase: “Give no quarter!”. I was reminded of this expression yesterday when I saw the picture of Cristiano flanked by Casemiro and Marcelo as they set off for Paris. They face a PSG, side who last night were greeted by their hardcore supporters outside their hotel base as they attempt to turn the tie around. There is a slight element of desperation in the French club's campaign to rally their fans ahead of the game and this plays into the hands of that small section of supporters who use football as a smokescreen for their own anti-social motives.
Zidane worried about flair rather than flare
There is an element of playing the victim in the Ligue 1 outfit's pre-match build-up, something that aids Unai Emery's pre-match narrative: “Madrid don't know what awaits them in Paris”, he claimed. Real Madrid have played in all sorts of atmospheres in all sorts of stadia ...from Altabix, San Mamés, Belgrade or Milán. Football matches are not won with some fans and some flares but on the pitch. I'm sure Zidane is far more worried about that danger that talented players such as Rabiot, Di María, Mbappé or 'El Matador' Cavani can create rather than some bluster created by a few hardcore supporters and a flare display.
Let's not forget that Madrid arrive in the French capital with a positive 3-1 result from the first leg and good memories of previous games in Paris. It was in the City of Light where the club secured their first ever European Cup also staged in tonight's venue, the Parc des Princes.The club are back again in Paris and now it's time to "give no quarter" as my Aragonés friend would say. It's still not clear on what formation Zidane will use in the game or indeed who the starting eleven will be. What is clear is that Cristiano Ronaldo will lead the forward line and will be hoping to carry on history that started for Real Madrid in Paris in June 1956 defeating Stade Reims to hoist the inaugural European Cup.