Madrid look to overcome Bayern in UCL semi-finals
Madrid: Zinedine Zidane may have won two consecutive Champions League titles but he refuses to admit a third would brand this his very own era at Real Madrid.
Real stand on the brink of a trio of finals ahead of their second leg against Bayern Munich in the last four on Tuesday, when they will carry a 2-1 lead, and two away goals, to the Santiago Bernabeu.
It makes them favourites to go through and, for many, heavy favourites to win the tournament after already beating Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus in the knock-out stages. For Zidane, a third European crown as coach is now in sight, which would put him level with Carlo Ancelotti and Bob Paisley in the pantheon of successful managers.
Only the three triumphs of Paisley, however, came at one club, Liverpool, and over a single era, in 1977, 1978 and 1981. Ancelotti's treble stretched across 11 years, with two clubs, Real and AC Milan.
"We cannot talk about this," Zidane said on Friday. "Coaches like this were given a lot of time, they did a lot of things.
"I am comfortable, we have done well, it is two and a half years that have been good but the rest, 'Zidane's Real Madrid', let's wait a bit." Even Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola have lifted Europe's biggest prize only twice, all with more years in management under their belts.
But Zidane's merits as a coach and tactician continue to be downplayed, at least in part because the Frenchman owns arguably the most talented squad in the world and, in Cristiano Ronaldo, the Champions League's greatest ever player.
Ronaldo's 15 goals in this year's competition have certainly been key.