Special footage of Zinedine Zidane’s half-time team talk during last year’s Champions League final has emerged, as part of a new special documentary.
The access-all-areas documentary, called ‘In the heart of the Twelfth’ was produced by Real Madrid TV and follows Los Blancos’ journey to their twelfth Champions League crown. It follows the team from their journey to Wales and their pre-match preparation, through to the post-match celebrations.
The video below shows the Real Madrid players entering the dressing room in Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium at half-time. The score was 1-1 at the time, with goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Mario Madžukić sending the sides in level.
Ahead of this team talk, arguably the biggest in his managerial career, Zidane waits for all his players to sit in their positions and stands and addresses them. Strip away the circumstances, the fancy fittings and large logo on the floor, this could easily be a non-league environment.
In a rather low-key team talk, Zidane told his players: “We are the best, we just have to prove it. Fight and endure together! Play as one complete team! Always play as one complete team!
“It’s a final. We know that it’s a difficult game for them as well.”
A simple yet inspired team talk from Zidane saw Los Blancos run out 4-1 winners, with Casemiro, Ronaldo and Marco Asensio scoring in the second half to clinch European glory.
The Frenchman delivered his team talk in respectable (but not perfect) Spanish, moving on to a simple tactical briefing after opening with those passionate words of encouragement.
With this being the most high-profile game in club football, many would have expected Zidane to issue a highly-detailed tactical analysis with complex instructions to follow.
Instead, he keeps it simple. Making short, simple statements such as ‘we have to be more aggressive’ and ‘when we have the ball we need to be more patient, play fast out wide.’
“The most important thing is that we defend with aggression but more aggressive not only literally…Not being aggressive just to get a yellow card,” Zidane told his players.
“You need to be closer to each other and more aggressive. We have to be more aggressive, right?”
Some managers may have buckled under the pressure of a Champions League final, trying to overload their players with too much information in such a short break.
Zidane keeps his cool, and strips the game down to basics when delivering his instructions. He speaks with concision and clarity.
“When we don’t have the ball, then they will play 4-4-2 with Alves in a high position and Madžukić a bit in front. What we need to do is push them back.”
The Real Madrid manager then closed with a summary of his demands and told his players to ‘always think that the goal will come’ before applauding his men and sending them back out for the second half.
“The only thing is showing a little bit more attitude and rhythm,” he added.
“It’s a final, we suffer but always think that the goal will come.”