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Zinedine Zidane on top of the world after Real Madrid Champions League shoot-out success

By Robert Jones

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane admits winning the Champions League is equal to lifting the World Cup in his footballing achievements.

Real claimed their 11th European Cup on penalties as Cristiano Ronaldo scored the winner immediately after Juanfran saw his effort hit a post, with the Atletico full-back the only player to miss from the spot in the shootout.

Sergio Ramos' first-half goal was cancelled out by Atleti substitute Yannick Carrasco as the game ended 1-1 following extra-time but it was Real who came out on top.

It meant Zidane, who only took over from the sacked Rafael Benitez in January, has won the Champions League as both a player and manager for the club.

"At the end getting the Champions League is the best along with winning the World Cup," said the Frenchman, a world champion in 1998.

"After all the work we did I am very proud, it has been a phenomenal job. I'm happy because I've been part of this great club for a long time now. I feel really very proud."

Zidane took over with the club in difficulties but managed to finish the season on a high after domestic disappointment, although questions still remain about his long-term future at the Bernabeu.

"The future? We'll see, now let's enjoy this," he added.

"When you have players of this calibre, with this talent, you can achieve something big like we have tonight."

Ronaldo claimed he had envisaged scoring the winning goal and paid tribute to Zidane.

"I had a vision. I knew I was going to score the winning goal," he told TV station Antena 3.

"I asked [Zidane] to let me take the fifth penalty because I was going to score the winning goal. Zidane has done a phenomenal job. He deserves it, he has humility and I'm happy for him."

Atleti coach Diego Simeone, who tasted agonising defeat for the second time in three seasons, was gracious in defeat.

"I'd like to congratulate Real Madrid. Once again they were superior to us, this time at penalties," said the Argentinian, obviously devastated by the result.

Belfast Telegraph


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