BARCELONA, (Reuters) – Zinedine Zidane declared that leading Real Madrid to their first La Liga title in five years, and 33rd overall, was one of the happiest days of his glittering sporting career.
Real beat Malaga 2-0 on the final day of the season yesterday to finish three points clear of Barcelona and reclaim the title for the first time since 2012.
“For me the Spanish league is the best in the world so it’s an incredible feeling to win it,” Zidane told reporters.
“It was very important to win the league after many years without it and we know that the league is the competition of every day and it’s a huge thing to win it. It’s even more important for Real Madrid because it’s the biggest club in the world and we had to win it again.”
The coach also hailed his squad for embracing his rotation policy which he said had been vital to winning the title and praised the players who had accepted being left out of the starting line-up on occasion.
“It’s a spectacular day, everyone deserves credit but above all the players have fought, the message has always been that every player is important and that’s been the key to this success,” he said.
“It’s been a very hard fought win, difficult at some moments but after 38 games there’s no better feeling than being at the top.”
Zidane has won four trophies in 16 months since taking charge of the Spanish giants and he is one step from becoming the first Real coach since 1958 to win the European Cup and league title in the same season.
Real meet Juventus in the Champions League final on June 3 and will be bidding to become the first team to win back-to-back titles since AC Milan in 1990.
“I can finally celebrate after months and months of work. There are no words to define how I feel now,” added Zidane, whose list of achievements include winning the league title as a Real player in 2003, scoring the winning goal in the 2002 Champions League final and capturing the 1998 World Cup with France.
“When you’re the Real Madrid coach you know that expectations are very high but I like that. Winning the league is the best thing imaginable.”