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Published: Sun, May 14, 2017
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Zinedine Zidane thrilled for Real Madrid's 'beautiful final' against Juventus

Zinedine Zidane thrilled for Real Madrid's 'beautiful final' against Juventus

Real Madrid booked a place in the Champions League against Juventus final on Wednesday night following a tense Champions League semi-final return leg away to Atletico Madrid in the last European game to be held in the Vicente Calderon stadium.

Real Madrid are the only team to have scored six or more goals in a La Liga game against Sevilla in the last 10 years (three times). "We've still got three important league games left and then we'll start thinking about the final", he added.

At 2-0 down, Real took control of the game, slowing down the pace and dictating possession.

At this point the referee got between the two players but the former AC Milan had a last word to say: "Son of a b****', the Spaniard told Ronaldo". They would be desperate to get their name in the record book. "Our first half was almost ideal but that great play by Benzema cost us".

Zidane took over Madrid in January 2016 after he succeeded Rafa Bentitez, and was appointed on a two-and-a-half-year deal where he won an unprecedented 11th European title in his first campaign.

Fourth-placed Sevilla are nearly guaranteed to qualify for next season's Champions League through their league position, although they need one more point to make mathematically certain.

But Simeone's men would capitalise on their lucky escape and pulled their first goal back after 12 minutes when Saul rose highest in the box to power home from a Koke corner.

Rio Ferdinand and Steve McManaman both believe that England's best clubs are a long way off the leading teams in Europe after watching Real Madrid defeat rivals Atletico Madrid in a Champions League semi-final that highlighted the gulf that the Premier League have allowed to develop.

"We're happy to have made the final and we're proud of the boys".

"At the moment Gareth is recovering. we have time before the final", he said.

"Now, though, I am with Real Madrid, the club of my life and it will be a great final".

Kevin Gameiro also should have done better on the end of a swift Atletico counter-attack but Cristiano Ronaldo in particular was growing in prominence and was unlucky to have a 69th-minute effort incorrectly ruled out for offside.

For many years, the stadium hosted Atletico sides - including the one relegated in 2000 - who struggled to emerge from their shadows of their illustrious neighbours. It was also runner-up in 1974, losing to Bayern Munich in the final.

Benzema sped into the area after clearing the defenders and sent a backward pass to Toni Kroos, whose shot was initially saved by goalkeeper Jan Oblak.

While I am looking forward to the final immensely, I am also disappointed that Atletico Madrid are not in it.

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