It’s just a few hours to kick off! I’m about to head over to the pub and hang our Real Madrid flags and get our tables ready for the gang to show up. Pre-match in Milan, some of our legends gathered together with the fans.
Gento, Amancio, Raúl, Roberto Carlos and Mijatovic, in the ‘Fan Zone’
by Alberto Navarro (Milan) | Photographer: Antonio Villalba
The Real Madrid legends greeted fans and signed autographs just a few hours before the Champions League final.
Five legends who have enriched Real Madrid’s history visited the Whites’ ‘Fan Zone’. Gento, Amancio, Raúl, Mijatovic and Roberto Carlos greeted the madridistas, signed autographs and posed for photos just a few hours before the Champions League final against Atlético in the San Siro (8:45pm CEST).
“Esperemos que podamos llevar la Undécima a La Cibeles. Cómo no te voy a querer si fuiste campeón de Europa por décima vez”, (We hope we will lift the cup for la Undécima at Cibeles, how could I not love you 10-time European Champions?) sang Raúl. Mijatovic thanked the fans for their support and asked them to continue their support this evening: “This is all possible thanks to you and I hope tonight you will support the team and we will win la Undécima”.
Roberto Carlos emphasised what the two former players who he shared a dressing room with said: “These people deserve the win and la Undécima”. Amancio and Gento finished off, saying: “We are happy for the feeling of madridismo we have inside us and today we will show it once again. We are very proud to be here with all of the madridistas, we have this team in our hearts. We hope that, as in Lisbon, we can lift the cup because we are the better team”.
Zidane: “We deserve to be here and it’ll be a great final”
by Alberto Navarro (Milan) | Photographer: Antonio Villalba
“We’ll have to run, run and run. We know what it is to suffer and if you want to win the Champions League you have to go through difficult moments”, said the Madrid coach.
Zinedine Zidane appeared in the press room at the San Siro on the day before the match against Atlético. The Madrid coach analysed the Champions League final: “We’ve worked hard to get here. Both teams deserve to be playing this final. I’m happy with the work we’ve done because we’ve been through a lot, but it’s impossible to get to a final without suffering. We’ve got one game left and we’re well prepared to play it. There’s one night to go. We’ll rest up and tomorrow we’ll play a great final”.
“Nobody can take away what we’ve achieved so far. Failure can only be in our attitude. You never know what’s going to happen but we’re very well prepared to play this final. Tomorrow we’ll have to run, run and run. We know what it is to suffer and tomorrow I’m sure we’ll have to show that, but in a final it’s normal to have difficult moments during the match, and if you want to win you’ve got to go through that suffering”.
“They’re a team. I can’t pick out one particular player. They work as a team. I wouldn’t take anyone out of the Atlético side. We know how they work. They’re in the final for a reason: the good work they’ve all put in. They’ll make it a complicated game, we know that and we’re prepared for it”.
A hard match?
“Not hard. Hard implies something ugly and it’s not like that. It’ll be difficult but we’re ready and the players just want the match to start after 15 days of preparation. First off we’ll have to defend well without the ball and then we’ve got our attacking weapons to do good things going forward”.
“I really believe in the work, what the players have done over the last 15 days has been phenomenal.”
“It’s been three months since the last derby and we’re better in every sense, but that means nothing. I’m pleased because the work has been tremendous. Now it’s time for this game and we’ll give our all. We’ll see what happens, but we’re ready to play. It’s 50-50. There are no favourites”.
“He had some discomfort in Manchester but he’s back at 100% and we’re playing a final. He’s fine. He’s not got the same problems as in Manchester, it’s different”.
First final as a coach
“It’s different. I’ve had it as a player, as assistant coach and now as head coach. I’m happy and I experience it intensely with the whole team. Getting to a final isn’t easy. What the players have done has been phenomenal in every sense. It’s a final and we’re all happy to be playing”.
“When the game starts I’ll feel more tension, but it’s part of the work of the coach and I like it. I’ve lived it as a player, but it’s nothing like as a manager. Ancelotti always told me that. Before the final in Lisbon he said he hoped I would one day experience it as a head coach, and I always remember Carlo”.
Differences between Lisbon and Milan
“Some players have left but the idea is always the same at this club: unity, effort, camaraderie, and when it’s time to play, showing quality and giving it our all. Tomorrow we want to show this again and give everything we’ve got”.
Praise from Materazzi
“I’m happy with the work we’ve done so far. I’m happy with all we’ve done to get to the final”.
Ramos: “We want to win the Champions League again because it’s what our fans deserve”
by Javier Garcia (Milan) | Photographer: Antonio Villalba
“We’re really motivated and we’re going to put our hearts and souls into winning it”, added the captain.
Sergio Ramos appeared alongside Zidane and Marcelo at the press conference in the build up to the Champions League final. The Madrid captain discussed his feelings with just one day to go until the match: “We want to win again and keep picking up titles, the fans deserve to experience this joy. I wouldn’t change anything that happened in Lisbon. Our fate was written and that’s how it happened, but it’s in the past. It’s time to turn the page and we’re about to play another final”.
“I have beautiful memories but you can’t stay in the past. We go into this with the same hunger, excitement and desire. The Décima gave us some ideas, but we’re not stuck in the past. We’ve got our route marked out, our objective is clear. We’re just one step away and we’re going to put our hearts and souls into winning it”.
What Zidane demands
“We know what Zizou is asking of us and what we have to do but we’re not going to reveal that here. We have to play with intensity, with a clear game plan and make as few mistakes as possible. Finals are decided by the smallest details. We have to defend and suffer as a team”.
“We’ve got the same desire, excitement and hunger as in Lisbon.”
“They will still feel bitterness after the final in Lisbon, but when you lose, you get up, you don’t stay down on the floor. That’s why they’ve kept competing and they’ve made it here again. I don’t know if that will affect them, but we’re only concerned about ourselves. There is pressure in these finals and we’ll try and manage it the best we can”.
“I’ve got my superstitions but there aren’t many people who know them. You don’t have to change anything that went well. I’m really motivated and hungry to grasp this opportunity and tomorrow’s game”.
Words from Ancelotti
As Ancelotti, our ex-coach says, Atlético will punish you if you switch off for one second. Playing against them demands more concentration. You have to be completely aware. I wouldn’t consider it a failure if we miss out on the title, but a missed opportunity. We’ve worked and suffered together to get this far and we want to make the most of this oppurtunity”.
And there you have it! Let’s get out there and win this thing!
Hala Madrid y nada más!