Former Real Madrid star David Beckham has praised former team-mate and current Los Blancos manager Zinedine Zidane and urged him to beat Liverpool in Saturday's UEFA Champions League final.
Beckham would no doubt have been supporting his old club anyway, but he also showed his Manchester United roots when sitting down with Zidane ahead of the showpiece in Kiev, Ukraine:
The former England international said:
"I want to say congratulations to Zizou because so far it's been incredible for Real Madrid, to have been successful as a player and now to be successful as the boss, the big boss, is incredible.
"I just want to wish Zizou, the boss, the president, the club good luck in the Champions League final.
"And please beat Liverpool, please!"
Beckham spent four seasons with Real, though Champions League glory eluded the team from 2004 through 2007.
Los Blancos have made the competition their own in recent years, though. After waiting 12 years for La Decima, their 10th triumph in Europe's elite competition, they won it in 2014, 2016 and 2017.
Their most recent victory meant Real became the first team to defend the trophy in the Champions League era, and a victory over Liverpool on Saturday (7:45 p.m. BST, 2:45 p.m. ET) would further cement them in history, per OptaJose:
The Madrid press are confident they will pull it off:
Liverpool may lack Real's recent experience in Champions League finals, but they should not be underestimated.
The Reds overcame Manchester City—who racked up 100 points in the Premier League this season and won by a margin of 19—in the quarter-finals. Their front three are as dangerous as any the Champions League has seen, per OptaPaolo:
29 - Liverpool’s trio of Mohamed Salah (10), Roberto Firmino (10) and Sadio Mane (9) have scored more goals than any other trio at a club in a single Champions League season, overtaking Real Madrid’s threesome of Cristiano Ronaldo (17), Bale (6) and Benzema (5) in 2013-14. Dream. https://t.co/J3ghvwAyRi
Neither side specialises in defending, but with so much creative and attacking talent, it should make for a thrilling contest. It could come down to which team can be more ruthless with their chances on the night.
Madrid have the advantage in terms of experience, and they typically raise their game for Champions League matches. But the match could go either way if Liverpool play to their capability.