Zidane feels ‘lucky’ to be back in Champions League final

first_imgMADRID (AP):Zinedine Zidane couldn’t have asked for much more after only five months as Real Madrid’s head coach. The former France great has a chance to end the season celebrating the Champions League title, just like he did 14 years ago as a player for the Spanish powerhouse.Victory tomorrow against Atletico Madrid would cap a superb start to Zidane’s head-coaching career, joining Miguel Munoz, Giovanni Trapattoni, Johan Cruyff, Carlo Ancelotti, Frank Rijkaard and Pep Guardiola as the only men to have won the European tournament both as a coach and a player.Zidane would also become one of the few coaches to win European football’s most important club competition in his first job as a head coach, along with seven other men, including Guus Hiddink, Vicente del Bosque and Guardiola.Zidane scored with a remarkable left-foot volley on the edge of the area to give Madrid their ninth title in the 2002 final against Bayer Leverkusen. He also won the tournament as an assistant coach to Ancelotti two years ago against Atletico.”I’m lucky to be here and share these moments with the players and fans. I’m very happy,” the 43-year-old Zidane said. “I’m thinking about how lucky I am to be in a final with this great club.”Zidane led Madrid to the final in Milan after taking over a club in crisis under coach Rafa Benitez. After an up-and-down start, he put the team back on track and it finished the season by winning 15 of its last 17 matches. The setbacks were a 2-0 loss to Wolfsburg in the first leg of the Champions League quarter finals and a 0-0 draw against Manchester City in the first leg of the tournament’s semi-finals.Madrid won their last 12 Spanish league matches to finish only one point behind champions Barcelona.”After he arrived, everybody could see that the team improved,” Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos said. “We didn’t have a good first half of the season but we improved a lot with him.”A loss tomorrow would leave Madrid without a title this season, although Zidane’s first spell as head coach would not likely be defined by that.”Failure would be if we didn’t give everything,” said Zidane, who was coaching Madrid’s “B” team in the third division before replacing Benitez in January. “We know that in a final the most important thing is to prepare well and anything can happen. We must prepare as always and see what happens on Saturday.”As a player, Zidane was used to the big stage after leading France to the World Cup title in 1998 and the European Championship title in 2000. He was named the world’s best player of the year three times.”There’s always pressure at Real Madrid,” he said. “It’s part of the job and I like it. I was a player and I also had pressure. I like it. I’ve got a lot to learn but the desire I’ve got to learn is tremendous. I’m going to improve, obviously, but there’s still a long way to go until I’m an important coach.”last_img read more

ATHLETICS: ROSSES AC ATHLETE WINS DONEGAL GRAND PRIX 5K

first_imgRosses AC News: The County Board Donegal Grand Prix 5km Road Race Championships took place in Letterkenny on Sunday morning last and there was a strong showing from the club. This was a championship race and we had Ciaran McGonagle take first place in the o-35 (masters) section. Ciaran was strongly supported by Edward Harkin, Kevin McGee, Michael Logue and Donal Walsh and they secured silver medals. This was a great performance against good opposition with Finn Valley first team, Rosses second, Inishowen third and Letterkenny fourth. Well done to all and sets things up for an interesting cross country season coming up. Cross country training continues in Magheragallon, Maghery and in Mullaghderg every Monday at 6 pm. This is open to everybody from 7 years upwards so come along and get involved. Sportshall Athletics – Monday 12 October: Sportshall Athletics starts in Ionad Spóirt na Rosann gym in Dungloe at 7 pm. An Assistant Club Coaching Course will take place in Donegal Town on Saturday 26th September. A Level One Coaching Course will take place at a Donegal venue- 9/10 October& 30/31 October. Anybody interested please contact Ita Gallagher or Elise Gillespie, Rosses AC Secretary. On Friday 25th September there was be Schools Cross Country in Carrickfinn at 11am. Under 9 (born 2007/2008) – 600m, Under 11 (born 2005/2006) – 800m and Under 13 (born 2003/2004) – 1000m. A new category this year will be a race for Secondary Schools First Years. Some Upcoming fixtures: Sunday 13th September, Letterkenny, Donegal Athletics Board Grand Prix 5K Fun Run. There will be a 5k at Carrackfinn on Friday 18th September with a start time of 6:45pm and registration from 6pm with all funds going to the Annagry Hall. Sunday 4th October, Carndonagh, Donegal Juvenile Even Ages (u10-u18) & Masters Cross Country. 11th October, FV Center, Donegal Juvenile Uneven Ages (u11 – u19) & Novice Cross Country. 15th October, Lifford, Donegal Primary Schools Cross Country.Paul McGee continues to coordinate and lead the training groups and anybody looking to be part of this group is very welcome – contact Paul McGee on 0879256528. Training in the estate is Wednesday evenings at 7pm.ATHLETICS: ROSSES AC ATHLETE WINS DONEGAL GRAND PRIX 5K was last modified: September 15th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:GAASportlast_img read more