Zinedine Zidane gave an interview to UEFA.com ahead of his side's game against Juventus in the quarter-final of the Champions League. The game is a repeat of last year's final and the manager discussed his time at Madrid and his success in Europe.
Did you imagine your time at Madrid would be as successful as it has been? "Being at this club, with an incredible history... I knew that I could win things. That is the history of the club, it's in the DNA of the club, this team. I did it as a player. I won many things as a player, I though that I could do it as a manager too. At the same time, it's true that to win eight titles in two years was not something that I imagined. But that's all, it's done. The important thing now is to do everything we can to try and win titles. This is the way that is most important: what we do, what work we do, what we invest in order to win. That is the most important. It's in the DNA of the club.
What differences is there being a player and as a manager? "Nothing to do with it. I won as a player. Today, to be responsible for 25 players, they have nothing to do with each other. I think that it was Carlo Ancelotti who told me: 'You'll see, because that's what will happen to you and you can judge it yourself, to win as a manager is much sweeter and much more difficult' and he was right."
What does Real Madrid mean to you? "Everything. Everything because this club gave me everything. I remember the president Florentino Perez, the one who brought me here. It is him who brought me here. I owe him everything. From my arrival, I played, I am the manager, 17 or 18 years have passed and I am in Madrid. I am well settled, my family too. Because of that, I own everything to my president and to this club and also to all of the people, all of the fans, who have always shown me respect and love. This is the history, I hope it continues."
Playing for Juventus: "I think that Juventus was an important springboard for me. I left Bordeaux, France and I arrived at a very homely club. I was also well-received by the manager, Marcelo Lippe, who helped me to progress. This club made me grow as a player and as a person. I owe it a lot. That's why I didn't play for many clubs in my career. It was my choice."
Final in Cardiff last season: "It was a little bit of everything. It wasn't just my talk at half-time that influenced it. There was the desire of the players to win. When we went out in the second half, we were more decisive. Things turned out well."
Comparison between the final in Cardiff and the game this year: "Everything will be different. We can be two-time champions but that doesn't mean anything. Simple, it gives us the right to say we can defend out title but nothing more. It will be necessary to demonstrate it on the field, to be efficient, moreso than last year. And it will be a very difficult knockout game."