Real as hungry as reds: Zidane

From left: Luka Modric, coach Zinedine Zidane, assistant coach David Bettoni, Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo at Real's training session yesterday ahead of the Champions League final. Not a single player in their opponents' squad has made it to this st
From left: Luka Modric, coach Zinedine Zidane, assistant coach David Bettoni, Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo at Real's training session yesterday ahead of the Champions League final. Not a single player in their opponents' squad has made it to this stage of the competition before but Zidane has ruled out his side's experience being an advantage against Liverpool, saying that it is a "one-off" game in Kiev on Saturday.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Madrid's desire for third-straight Champions League title is immense, says French coach

MADRID • Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has rejected suggestions from Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp that the Reds will show more desire to win Saturday's Champions League final than the two-time defending champions.

The Premier League club have not tasted European glory since 2005 and last appeared in a Champions League final in 2007.

Not a single player in Liverpool's squad has reached this stage of the competition before but Klopp said his team can compensate for their lack of final experience with greater desire and work rate than Real in Kiev.

"Experience is very important in life but not the only important thing in life and especially in football," the German said.

"It is an advantage to be more experienced but you can level it with desire, with readiness, with attitude and work rate and that is what I love in football. We have our own experience. We have not that positive experience that we won the last two finals or something but we made our own experience."

Zidane, however, warned Liverpool that his side are as hungry as ever to win Europe's elite club competition despite clinching the title in three of the last four years.

"No one can tell us we are less hungry," the Frenchman told a news conference yesterday. "I can't talk for the opponents, but we always have the same desire as we always do and nobody can say we don't.

ALWAYS WANTING TO WIN

Nobody can take our hunger away from us. We're Real Madrid... We always want more and will always give our all to get more.

ZINEDINE ZIDANE, Real Madrid coach, on how Liverpool are not hungrier than his team.

"We're in a third final and we have the chance to do something historic and win it three times in a row. You can't say Liverpool have more hunger than us - it simply isn't true.

"Nobody can take our hunger away from us. We're Real Madrid... We always want more and will always give our all to get more."

Zidane also has his personal achievements to draw upon, having won the most coveted prize in club football three times as a player and manager combined.

But he ruled out experience as a factor on Saturday.

"It's a one-off game, in a neutral venue. We're ready for it, but our experience doesn't count," he added.

"It's a final, they (Liverpool) haven't played in a lot of them, but they'll kill themselves for this and we know it."

Liverpool's attacking style served them well in their impressive wins over Manchester City and Roma in the quarter-finals and semi-finals and Klopp said it would be unwise to change their approach.

The Reds scored a competition record 40 goals en route to the Kiev showpiece.

"We will try, in a very positive way, everything to show the boys why it makes sense to be really brave in the game," he said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 23, 2018, with the headline 'Real as hungry as reds: Zidane'. Print Edition | Subscribe