Suffering to Win is What Makes a Champion–Zidane
Zinedine Zidane has admitted that his side “suffered’’ to reach a third consecutive final. But he called it a “better way.’’ It was not good for the heart that Real Madrid had “suffered” to reach a third European Cup final in a row but said: “It’s better this way.”
“It was a mad game but a lovely one,” Zidane said after Real escaped a nightmare of intense pressure from Bayern Munich. Madrid was able to hold on to a 2-2 draw, going through 4-3 on aggregate. “You have to suffer in football. You can’t reach a final without suffering and it’s even better like this. Well, maybe not for the heart. But it is,” Zidane said
Asked how his team manages to find a way to the finals at all times, Zidane replied: “It’s not just the team, it’s the club. It’s a history that comes from a long way back and now it’s a history we are writing, just as those other teams did. This team never surrenders. We know it is hard but we believe in what we do and keep fighting.
“I feel very good because when you do something like this it’s very nice. We like football because of this kind of emotion. We still haven’t won anything, but we’re in the final and that’s enormous. We can be happy because it’s not normal to be in the final for the third year in a row.”
For Bayern, there was sadness and disbelief. For Arturo Vidal, there was also anger. Injured and watching on television, he responded on social media to a possible handball from Marcelo, by typing “Fucking penalty”, accompanied by 17 angry-face emojis. The defender himself admitted afterwards that he too thought it was a handball. There was regret too over the way they gifted Real their second goal – all the more so after two errors led to goals in the first leg.
“It’s an extremely bitter feeling,” Mats Hummels said. “We had chances in the first game, we were more dangerous today but in the end, Real made fewer big mistakes.” Thomas Müller added: “We gifted a goal and you cannot have it happen twice in a semi-final like this. We lacked a lot of luck, especially in the box. We should not be ashamed but it hurts a lot to have missed the chance. We invested so much and there are so many guys who deserve to play in a final.”