Zidane may be one of the best coaches in the world - Emery

Published July 24th, 2016 - 03:10 GMT
Zinedine Zidane
Zinedine Zidane

Unai Emery says Zinedine Zidane may be one of the best coaches in the world already after leading Real Madrid to the Champions League title in 2015-16.

Zidane took over from Rafa Benitez at the Santiago Bernabeu in January and oversaw a transformation in the club's form as Madrid pushed Barcelona to the wire in La Liga and lifted the European Cup for the 11th time in their history by beating Atletico on penalties in Milan.

"With Real Madrid and, in this case, Zidane, two great footballing icons are brought together," Emery told reporters in a conference call as part of PSG's participation in the International Champions Cup.

"Real Madrid because of their history as a club and Zidane because of the great footballer he was.

"Logically, translating all of that into the role of coach is not easy and the first works of Zidane, with that title in the Champions League, show there is a continuity in his work as coach from what he was as a player.

"He is at a great club in Real Madrid, one of the best clubs in the world, he was one of the best players in the world and possibly, with the work he is carrying out, he may also be one of the best coaches in the world."

Emery left Sevilla earlier in the summer after winning three successive Europa League crowns with the Andalusian club - and he admits he is looking forward to the challenge of seeking success in the Champions League with Paris Saint-Germain.

"For me it’s a challenge and a step in my career after the last few years with Sevilla and having won the Europa League," he said.

"That gave a dimension to Sevilla, a dimension to the players, a dimension to the coach, with success, but that success has to be confirmed and the opportunity that PSG give me is to be able to grow with a great team towards ambitious heights."

PSG face Inter, Real Madrid and Leicester in the pre-season competition, starting against the Italians on Sunday, and Emery admits it will help his preparations for Ligue 1, the Champions League and the team's Trophee des Champions clash against Lyon on August 6.

"For us, it’s an important tournament," he said.

"Within the context of the preparation for the final of the Super Cup in France and the preparation for the league and the season itself with competitions like the Champions League.

"The rivals are demanding and in those demands we will find out where we are, we will find out how the idea we want to instil is taking shape against teams of the difficulty of Inter, Real Madrid and Leicester.

"That makes these games stand out, it means they are three games you approach with the idea of winning, the motivation to be able to do things that can be signs of the identity of this team. We have the opportunity to do that in these matches."

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