Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has moved early to deflect the Champions League final favouritism tag onto opponents Juventus.
Madrid reached the final courtesy of a 4-2 aggregate defeat of city rivals Atletico Madrid, losing 2-1 on the night in the second leg.
“Real Madrid are absolutely not the favourites. It’s very difficult to score against this Juve side,” Zidane told Mediaset Premium after the game.
Atletico found themselves 2-0 up after just 16 minutes through goals from Saul Niguez and Antoine Griezmann, igniting hopes of an unlikely progression having lost the first leg 3-0.
But Isco Alarcon put Real fears at ease, netting in the 42nd minute to render the task near impossible for Atleti.
Zidane added in his post-match press conference that patience was the key to victory.
“They (Atletico Madrid) cam out really strong, won the second balls and the balls in the air,” he said.
“They got a goal from a corner when we were not watching, then a penalty.
“That is part of football, we knew we would suffer. We also knew with patience we would find spaces and we played well, especially in the second half.
“With Isco playing between spaces, as always if you have quality players, you can always damage the opposition.”
The Champions League final will be played between Real and Juve at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium on 3 June.