Zidane keeping mum on Bale ahead of final

All players are very important, but to be calm and score, that is the most hard.

The Wales forward has not played since coming off in the first half of El Clasico on April 23, and he admitted he may have rushed his return following an operation in November.

Zidane has his own special place in Real's storied history after scoring the victor in the 2002 Champions League final against Bayer Leverkusen, a triumph that marked the highpoint of the "Galacticos" era at the Bernabeu.

"When I arrived I said they weren't signing a star but a worker who wanted to achieve things with them, in order to take the Cup home".

Real Madrid who are the holders of the title will want to retain their cup, but they will face a strong Italian side who have only conceded three goals en-route to the final.

"That's what I'm interested in right now, everyone in good shape and at a high level".

With 10 goals to his name, he needs one more to equal Messi's tally in this season's competition and become a Champions League top scorer for the fifth season running.

But Zidane insists Real cannot be considered favourites against his former club, the Frenchman having spent five years of his playing career in Turin between 1996 and 2001.

"It's really attractive to be able to play the final again, like we did in Milan (in 2016)".

"We're not favourites, nor are Juventus". We've worked all year to play in this match.

Some observers have suggested Juventus will adopt a cautious approach to blunt Real's attacking weapons.

"The final is won by scoring goals. I expect an open game, a nice game for all football fans".

With Juventus on the verge of winning their first treble, Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has hinted that he feels this Bianconeri are the best ever to wear the famous black and white stripes.

"We're going to try to play our game; we know we're going to play against a great team. We are always living under this pressure", he said.

As a result, the Champions League final between Juventus and Real Madrid looks set to garner a huge amount of viewers.

The best shot-stopper of his generation has a medal collection befitting of his standing in the game, but continental glory remains a glaring omission from the veteran's success-laden CV.

A head coach for only 17 months, the former France playmaker can become the first manager to win back-to-back European Cups since AC Milan's Arrigo Sacchi in 1989 and 1990 and the first in the Champions League era.

"Probably the emotions I might feel might be different to any other guy who's younger, like Dani (Alves)", said Buffon, gesturing to his team-mate, who was sitting beside him at Friday's pre-game press conference in Cardiff. "I played so many years in Manchester and that never happened". Even if it's a training session, he wants to win there as well.

"I think it's quite normal, I don't mind. I'm enjoying it all", Zidane said.

The 31-year-old Ramos is the defender who has scored the most goals in finals with Madrid.

"You've got two of the giants of European football here", he said.

  • Arturo Norris