'Hats off' to Real Madrid from Zidane ahead of Chelsea second leg

London (AFP) –


Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane hailed his side for the character they have shown to get to the semi-finals of the Champions League ahead of their second leg against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

"We have had complicated moments but hats off to this team because they have shown character and never hide when things get difficult," Zidane told reporters on Tuesday.

Record 13-time European champions Real have work to do in London after being held 1-1 at home in the first leg last week.

However Zidane believes they deserve credit for still being in contention to win both La Liga and the Champions League after an often tricky season in which they came close to being knocked out in the group stage.

"It is not a miracle. We have got this far through hard work and by believing in what we are doing," he said. "We are where we want to be and we deserve it."

The Frenchman added that captain Sergio Ramos has shaken off an injury and is ready to play as Madrid eye a place in the May 29 final in Istanbul.

"He is with us and that means he is ready to play. It is important for us to have our leader and captain."