Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has lauded his team for grinding their way through a third consecutive Champions League final on Tuesday.
After their controversial last-gasp win over Juventus in the quarterfinals, Real were left hanging on against Bayern Munich at the Santiago Bernabeu as Karim Benzema’s double secured a 2-2 draw and 4-3 win on aggregate.
Real looked in danger of surrendering their 2-1 advantage from the first leg when Joshua Kimmich gave Bayern an early lead and James Rodriguez levelled with 27 minutes remaining.
But Los Blancos held on for a crucial win that puts them on the cusp of yet more European record.
And Zidane insists the grit his team have shown to overcome Paris Saint-Germain, Juve, and now Bayern, should not be underestimated.
“In football, you have to suffer,” Zidane said. “You cannot be in the final without suffering, it’s even better, more beautiful when you win like that.
“Madrid never gives up. It is the same in adversity, we believe in what we do and we get things done by believing in ourselves and fighting.”
Real now come in as favourites for the final in Kiev against either Liverpool or Roma, and Zidane says they’ll fight to the end.
“We are only in the final,” Zidane said. “You can be happy, you have to be, it is not normal to be in the final for the third consecutive time.
“But now that we are, what we have to do is try to win. We will fight to defend our title.”