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Madrid aim to keep UCL run alive vs. Spurs

Five Aside


2017/2018 Season

2 Valencia 5 3 0 18
3 Real Madrid 5 2 1 17
4 Atletico 4 4 0 16
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Transfer Rater: Bertrand to City, Alaba to Real

 By PA Sport

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane targets Champions League this season

New Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane is targeting the Champions League title this season despite admitting he is not "fully prepared" to manage at the highest level.

Former France captain Zidane has replaced Rafael Benitez, who was sacked on Monday after just seven months in charge at the Bernabeu, and takes up his first role in senior management.

Zidane had been working as manager of the club's B team Castilla and inherits a side currently third in the Primera Division table and which faces Roma in the last 16 of the Champions League next month.

Yet the 43-year-old, who won the Champions League as a player with the Spanish giants in 2002, believes the club's own drive for success will make up for his own lack of experience.

Zinedine Zidane took his first training session on Tuesday.

"For me it is very simple: I'm very happy to be here," he told a news conference. "I have clear targets and I'm going to do everything I can to reach those targets.

"Good football has always been important at this place, and I am going to continue that. It has to be offensive football, balanced, and nothing else.

"I have seen a team that is focused, happy and switched on and we're all happy.

"To win is essential at this club. We are in the last 16, and the target always is to win the Champions League and I will try to make that possible.

"I've got good feelings, but I have to say never is a coach fully prepared, especially a coach who has never managed at this level before, but I feel kind of prepared. I have motivation and hope and all that will help me."

Comparisons have been made with Pep Guardiola, who was a hero during his playing days at Barcelona before taking over as boss at the Camp Nou during a trophy-laden four-year spell.

But Zidane, who joined Madrid In 2001 for a then world-record €75 million, brushed those aside.

"You cannot do that comparison. Guardiola is Guardiola, and I will do my best," he added. "Guardiola is a fantastic coach, and what he is doing is very impressive, I will not compare myself with anyone. I never did it as a player and I won't do it now."

David Beckham has welcomed Zidane as "the best man for the job" after Madrid's latest appointment.

Zidane is the 11th coach to be unveiled in club president Florentino Perez's reign, with Los Blancos currently trailing Primera Division leaders Atletico Madrid by four points after 18 games.

Beckham, who played alongside Zidane at the Bernabeu, took to his Instagram account to express his delight with the move.

He wrote: "Does it get any better than this?? A man that has been the best at a game we all love taking over a club that myself and many more people love.

"Someone with drive, passion and also doesn't accept failure on any level taking over from a manager that has huge experience and respect in the game, but taking on a position that he will relish.

"The best person for the job."


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