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Real Madrid beat Manchester City to reach Champions League final

Zinedine Zidane will become only the seventh man to have won the European Cup as a player and a coach if his Real Madrid side beat Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final.
Zinedine Zidane will become only the seventh man to have won the European Cup as a player and a coach if his Real Madrid side beat Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final. Reuters/Juan Medina

Zinedine Zidane's arrival as Real Madrid coach has been the key to Real Madrid's late season success, according to star striker Cristiano Ronaldo. 

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The Portugal captain spoke on Wednesday night after Real had beaten Manchester City 1-0 at the Santiago Bernebeu in Madrid to reach the Uefa Champions League final for the second time in three years.

Zidane, 43, replaced Rafael Benitez in January and since he stepped in as boss Real have moved to within one point of leaders Barcelona with two games remaining in the La Liga season.

"Zidane is doing a great job," said Ronaldo. "I admire him as a coach and a person. We've always been behind Zidane because he is a humble person who likes to listen, and that always makes things easier."

Brazilian midfielder Fernando's first-half own goal was the only difference between the sides over two legs as Real set up a repeat of the 2014 final against local rivals Atletico Madrid in Milan on 28 May.

Zidane, who won the Champions League with Real in 2002, stands on the verge of joining a select group of men who have won European club football's most prestigious trophy as a player and a coach. Miguel Munoz won the competition in 1956 and 1957 while playing for Real Madrid and then the Spaniard led them to glory in 1960 and 1966.

The Dutchmen Johan Cruyff and Frank Rijkaard are also on the list as well as the Italian Carlo Ancelotti. Pep Guardiola who won it in 1992 under Cruyff's tutelage at Barcelona was the last entrant to the pantheon when he took Barcelona to the crown in 2009.

Zidane, a World Cup winner with France in 1998, has won 19 of the 24 games since taking over at Real.

"I am the coach, so I am doing something right for sure," he commented. "But it is not just me. It is a question of all the people working with me and the most important people are the players. It is them that allow you to win in football."

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