Raul hails ‘best-ever’ Madrid team

Real Madrid legend Raul Gonzalez has hailed Zinedine Zidane’s 2016-17 Double winners as “the best” in the club’s history

Madrid not only ended a 59-year wait for a League and European Cup Double on Saturday, courtesy of their 4-1 win against Juventus, but also became the first team to defend the Champions League in its current guise.

“The start was surprising because Juve were better,” the former Blancos striker told BeIN Sports.

“Juve had chances at first, but then Madrid managed to score and began to play better, although without continuity.

“After that, Mandzukic scored the goal of his life and [the game] was balanced for the last few minutes of the first half.

“During half-time, we had the feeling that something had to change. Everything changed in the second half.

“They had the best second half possible. There was more connection, Isco got involved and the midfielders were more aggressive.

“We recovered the ball more quickly, and with Juve in their half, they started to have more chances and the goals followed.

“From there, there was a few minutes when there wasn’t complete calmness, but it was a Final to savour.

“A League and European Cup Double after 59 years? What we have to do is try not to leave another Double for so long. There are many challenges left.

“Next year, there are the European Super Cup, the Supercopa Espana, the Club World Cup… The important thing is for the team to keep their sense of union.

“I congratulate Zizou on how he’s managed this squad. [They must] keep working and fighting to continue giving joy to madridistas.

“I think this is the best squad in Madrid’s history, but the presence of Zidane is very important.

“He was the key element for how he managed everything. Without his humility and simplicity, it wouldn’t have been possible.

“Keeping 24 players happy is almost impossible and he’s succeeded in doing that. He deserves tremendous credit.

“Isco pushing up in the second half was crucial. He combined with Marcelo and that was lethal for Juve.

“Now all that’s left is to savour this triumph and this team and hope that everything continues like this.”

Tags Juventus Raul Gonzalez