Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane insists he will be the “pupil” to Carlo Ancelotti’s “master” when the European champions face Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals.
Zidane was Ancelotti’s assistant when Madrid won their 10th European Cup in 2014 before going onto match the Italian’s achievement by winning the Champions League in his debut season as coach last year.
“It will be master against pupil for sure,” Zidane said on Friday.
“I was his assistant, I learned a lot from him, he is a great person and we all know what we did here. The tie is 50-50 as always, especially with these two teams.”
Madrid will travel to Bavaria on April 12 before hosting the German champions for the second leg on April 18.
“They say that playing away first is better, but I don’t have a preference,” added Zidane.
“We will play away and we know that we have to score there.”
Ancelotti and Zidane teamed up as Real thrashed Bayern 4-0 to round off a 5-0 aggregate victory the last time the two giants of European football clashed in the 2013/14 semi-finals.
However, Madrid’s director of institutional relations Emilio Butragueno recognised that Bayern were one of the sides Real had hoped to avoid.
“It is one of the worst draws we could have got without doubt, but it is also is for them,” he told BeIN Sports Spain. “We would have liked to have faced them further on in the competition.”
Ancelotti’s time in Madrid was brought to an abrupt end when he was sacked after failing to land any of La Liga, Champions League or the Copa del Rey in his second season as Barcelona won the treble.
Butragueno, though, claimed Ancelotti is still loved in the Spanish capital.
“Carlo is an outstanding coach and has a lot of experience. He has won everything as a player and a coach,” he added.
“We have a great relationship. He is a gentleman who we love a lot and he knows a lot about football, which isn’t a good thing for us.”
Before they return to European action, though, Zidane’s men also have a series of tough upcoming La Liga games as they target a first league title in five years.
Madrid face an always daunting trip Athletic Bilbao on Saturday looking to extend their lead over Barcelona at the top of the table to five points.
“I don’t know if it wins us the league because there are many games to go, but they are three very important points for us,” Zidane added on the importance of a win at San Mames.
“We know we will suffer, but we are working hard, we are confident, we have personality and we will need all those ingredients to win there.”
Sandwiched either side of their two clashes against Bayern, Real also welcome Atletico Madrid and Barcelona to the Santiago Bernabeu on April 8 and 23 respectively.
“The month of April is going to be enormous for us, but we have the squad to handle it,” Zidane continued.
“The best part of the season is coming when everything will be decided.”
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