Zizou is doing a great job, says Ronaldo
CRISTIANO Ronaldo lauded the impact made by Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane as the Frenchman led the Spanish giants into the Champions League final with a 1-0 win over Manchester City on Wednesday.
Brazilian midfielder Fernando's first-half own goal was the only difference between the sides over two legs as Real set up a repeat of the 2014 final against local rivals Atletico Madrid in Milan on May 28.
Zidane replaced the sacked Rafael Benitez with Madrid in crisis in January, but has sparked just Real's second run to the final in the 14 years since he scored the winning goal against Bayer Leverkusen for Real in 2002.
"Zidane is doing a great job," said Ronaldo. "I admire him as a coach and a person, I hope he continues in the job."
Ronaldo made his return after a three-game absence due to a thigh injury. But he was unable to match his own record of 17 Champions League goals in a single season in a tight game short on clear-cut chances.
Zidane admitted he could bask in some of the glory for Real's resurgence of 19 wins in his 24 games in charge but reserved his praise for the players.
"It is a question of all the people working with me and the most important people are the players. It is them that allow you to win in football," said the Frenchman.
By contrast, City coach Manuel Pellegrini will give way to Pep Guardiola at the end of the season, having failed to get them to a final in his three seasons in charge.
The Chilean lamented his side's luck as Gareth Bale's intended cross deflected off Fernando and looped over the helpless Joe Hart for the only goal of the tie.
But Pellegrini admitted City had not created nearly enough to merit a place in the final.
"Neither of the two teams deserved to win the game," he said. "There was lot of work in the 180 minutes but very little football."