On the day of his 50th birthday, French media outlet L’Équipe released an exclusive interview with Real Madrid and French legend Zinedine Zidane. In the interview, which was behind a paywall, Zizou spoke about whether or not he’d coach PSG or the French National Team in the future, his current lifestyle, previous memories donning the France shirt, and more, including the Real Madrid related quotes which we’ve included below:
On the three-peat, and the best game during that run
“Winning the Champions League is never luck. It’s hard work, and even more so if you win it three times in a row. I worked like crazy. My players believed in me and I believed in them. When I win, I’m not surprised because I gave it my all.
“The one we won against Juventus was the most complete game. Besides, it was Juve, with whom I had never won a Champions League as a player”.
On leadership, and half-time talks
“When you go back to the locker room, you leave the players alone. They need to recover. Talking for fifteen minutes doesn’t help. The messages doesn’t get through or doesn’t get through well.
“Having experienced what they are experiencing helps, but above all, you shouldn’t want to be more than them. You shouldn’t piss them off. I don’t have an ego in that. I’ve lived through situations with many coaches or players who wanted to be more than others.”
On his current relationship with Real Madrid and Karim Benzema
“I go to the Bernabéu whenever I can, I have a box. My children and friends also enjoy it. I was at the Stade de France watching the final against Liverpool.
“Karim is like the little brother I never had. We send each other messages. I’m not surprised by what he’s doing. I knew he was capable of that, he’s always been very good at Madrid. He’s simply exceptional. Will he win the Balon D’or this year? Not only do I say it, the whole world says it”.
On signing for Real Madrid
“I had just turned 29, but that what was missing: Real Madrid. I needed it to boost my career, I needed that new challenge. I had it in my head and so did Florentino.
“We were at a big table in Monaco at a gala dinner and there he handed me a message saying ‘Do you want to come?’ And I said ‘Yes’ on a paper napkin. I still wonder why I replied in English.”
On his goal vs Bayer Leverkusen
“The most beautiful, I don’t know, although it could be. One of the most important, yes. I needed to win my first Champions League and be decisive with Madrid in a great final. It started from a cross by Roberto Carlos that was bad but when it arrived, it becomes magnificent.”