Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid coach has backed hometown club Marseille to win the Europa League final against his side’s local rivals Atletico Madrid.
Zidane, from the La Castellane neighbourhood in north Marseille, never played for the club, but he told reporters at a charity event in Corsica that they can win France’s first European club trophy since 1996.
“It’s a great performance to have reached the final,” Zidane said. “They have had a great run. A final is decided on the small details. They’re two big clubs going head to head, two institutions, but OM has the means to win.
“I don’t have any advice to give even though I know Atletico. I believe in Marseille’s chances.”
The game, at Lyon’s Groupama Stadium, will be Marseille’s first European final since 2003-04 when a side featuring Fabien Barthez and Didier Drogba finished runners-up to Valencia in the UEFA Cup.
Marseille’s run has been surprising given they started their campaign against Oostende in late July, having only qualified as a consequence of Paris Saint-Germain’s domestic cup success.