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Florentino Perez hails Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane ahead of 100th game

UK & international sports | Published:

Perez brought Zidane to the Spanish giants in 2001 and has expressed his admiration for the former France international.

Zinedine Zidane

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has paid tribute to Zinedine Zidane before his 100th game as coach on Saturday at LaLiga rivals Getafe.

Perez brought Zidane to the Spanish giants when he was at the peak of his powers as a player in 2001 and has expressed his admiration for the former France international.

“The history and the legend of Real Madrid has been created by a unique list of honours, by a fanbase that has always been united in reflecting the institution’s values and by the great people who have strengthened the club badge during the 115 years of the club’s existence,” Perez told Marca.

“Zinedine Zidane, who will (on Saturday) reach 100 matches as coach of our team, belongs to this extraordinary group of people who have been chosen to be one of our symbols.”

Zidane, who won LaLiga and the Champions League during a five-year spell as a player with Los Blancos before retiring in 2006, has enjoyed continued success since replacing Rafael Benitez as coach in early 2016. Zidane is a person of pure talent, but he also works hard and makes sacrifices.

“He is persistent in his search for perfection, he is insatiable in his hunger for victories and titles and he always shows respect and humility. Not even two years have passed since his coaching debut on January 9, 2016, and he has already won two European Cups, one Club World Cup, two UEFA Super Cups, one LaLiga title and one Supercopa de Espana.”

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Zidane’s side are playing catch-up already with arch-rivals Barcelona this season, currently lying seven points adrift of the leaders after two draws and a defeat in their first seven matches.

The Madridistas have won all three league games on the road though and will be boosted by the return of striker Karim Benzema from a hamstring injury.

Gareth Bale (calf), Mateo Kovacic (adductor) and Dani Carvajal (heart condition) all remain sidelined.

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Getafe, who bounced straight back to the top flight last season, could be boosted by the return of winger Dani Pacheco, but Japan international Gaku Shibasaki is still out injured.

The Madrid-based club are 12th in the table after winning two of their first seven matches and ran Barcelona close at the Alfonso Perez Stadium last month before Paulinho’s late goal ensured a 2-1 defeat.

Defender Vitorino Antunes said his side should not be overawed by Zidane’s Galacticos.

“It’s a very complete team, it’s a team to respect for all the players they have, but we play at home and we’re going to give it everything,” Antunes told Getafe’s officla website.

“We know they have few weaknesses, but we will try to make our game, a full match. We’re going to do everything we can.”

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