Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has played down the importance of a Guardiola-Zidane clash and admitted that the teams matter more. The French icon has never faced a Pep Guardiola side in the Champions League despite winning three successive Champions League titles during his time at the helm.
Ahead of the blockbuster fixture against Manchester City, Zidane has downplayed any chances of turning the fixture into a Zidane-Guardiola clash. The Frenchman, who had played against Guardiola during his Barcelona years, had guided his side to three successive Champions League title in his first tenure at the club. Prior to his teams’ domination in the competition, Pep Guardiola had guided rivals Barcelona to two Champions League triumphs in his four years at the club.
Zidane has never lost a knockout tie in the continental championship since his debut while Guardiola has never managed to win the competition after moving away from Barcelona. The two had a similar start to their managerial career with Guardiola taking up at the reigns at the Catalonian side in 2008 after a year managing the reserve side while Zidane took the reigns in 2016, two years after managing Real Madrid Castilla.
“It's just Madrid-Manchester City, it's not Zidane-Guardiola. People can talk, and have opinions, but it's a game of football, it's an attractive game. These are the games we want to play. We don't worry about it and we don't fear playing Guardiola and his teams. We're inspired by what he's done. That motivates us more. I was with him for a few days when he was at Bayern, talking about training and how he manages a team. He was very honest," said the Madrid legend reported the BBC.
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