“Guardiola is the best in the world.” Not once, but twice, Zidane has crowned Pep as the top coach of the planet soccer. The last yesterday, just a few hours after measuring the team of the Catalan coach in the first duel kills of the 19-20 Champions for both teams. A luck in which no one, not even Guardiola, can boast Zizou’s numbers. He has surpassed the nine qualifiers he has faced at the head of Real Madrid, which led to the finals of 2016, 2017 and 2018. Also in the decisive matches he signed the full white coach, to shape a curriculum that would generate the envy of anyone . Even of a Pep who, despite winning the title twice with Barcelona, counts as failed his assaults on the continental throne since leaving Camp Nou, in 2013.
The comeback of Zidane began that same season, when the Frenchman attended Carlo Ancelotti as second. Madrid crossed with the new team of Pep, Bayern Munich, in the semifinals, and left for the memory a portentous exhibition in the Allianz (0-4), a triumph that the Catalan coach attributed to the white “athletes”.
Since then, although the Lisbon final does not count in the Zizou medal winners, Europe has been as sweet with the white coach as he dodges with the Spaniard, who has cemented his prestige in local competitions. He won three Bundesligas out of three possible in Germany and in England he has two out of three, which will be four if Liverpool’s hecatombe did not mediate. But in Europe there was no way, which even gave rise to the former Barça to place the national leagues above the Champions in the hierarchy of continental football.
Zidane, who won only one League (2016-17) in transit, has also claimed the value of domestic competitions. In fact, it is the great goal of the coach for this season. But…
But, when the Champions anthem plays at the Bernabéu, priorities, slogans and instructions are forgotten. No other melody sounds so seductive in the ears of Real Madrid, who knows that his team always has something special to offer in this competition. He will need it against the City, a great power of the luxurious Premier, which plays the season in Europe, since following the rhythm of Liverpool’s rock has been impossible for citizens. Despite this, it is a team of many carats, especially in attack, with the Agüero, Mahrez, Sterling, Silva, De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Gabriel Jesus … If any weakness is appreciated it is on the other side of the field , provided that the opponent manages to overcome his very high and always voracious pressure line.
Madrid, meanwhile, faces the duel halfway between the hope of a season that has seen a team rise that seemed finished just a few months ago and the bitter memory of the 18-19 course, when everything vanished in a week Black in the Bernabéu. Chamartín is again a court for whites, who in just four days can see their aspirations in the Champions League and League relaunched or ruined. The hangover of the last games does not invite a splurge of optimism, but you know: it’s Madrid, it’s the Champions League, it’s Zidane. And few mixes work so well.