Real Madrid boss Zidane: Guardiola is world’s best but I don’t fear him

Zinedine Zidane believes his counterpart Pep Guardiola is the best Coach in the world but he does not fear facing him in the Champions League.

Real Madrid take on Manchester City in the Champions League Round of 16 with the first leg being held in the Spanish capital on Wednesday evening.

Zidane and Guardiola have never gone up against each other in a game but the Madrid boss played down this angle and insisted he was not afraid of facing City or Guardiola and reiterated his faith in his Los Blancos side.

“The reality is this is just Madrid against Manchester City, it’s not Zidane against Guardiola,” Zidane told his pre-match press conference, as cited by Marca.

“People can talk, and hold their own opinions, but it’s a game of football, it’s an attractive game. These are the games we want to play and that we want to win.”

Zidane did explain how he studied the methodology and workings of Guardiola during his tenure at Bayern Munich, whom the Catalan managed before joining City in 2016.

“He gave me a lot of advice and many talks,” added Zidane. “He was very honest during the time I spent with him and I learnt a lot.

“But I will not tell you that everyone does it in their own way but he was very sincere and open about how he worked.”

Zidane also admitted that he believes Guardiola is currently the best Coach in world football: “He has always shown this, and now again that he is at City – for me he is the best.”

Madrid against City has been built up to be the tie of the round and the French boss agrees that it should be a fantastic spectacle.

“These are two great teams and I am convinced this will be a beautiful match,” added Zidane.

“Are City comparable to Barcelona? There are many teams that like to have the ball such as Celta and Villarreal, it is not about whether we have to cancel what they do well, but how we play.

“There are teams with many resources and the City has many things. We will prepare to do what interests us.”

Los Blancos arrive into their Champions League Round of 16 fixture against Premier League champions Manchester City in poor domestic form, with just one victory in their last four in Spanish domestic football.

February has been a tough month for the club – crashing out of the Copa del Rey against Real Sociedad while following up a disappointing home draw against struggling Celta de Vigo with a defeat at Levante last time out.

However, Madrid have won the Champions League a record 13 times including lifting the competition in four of the last six editions.

Tags Manchester City Pep Guardiola Zinedine Zidane