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Marcello Lippi lauds Real Madrid boss Zidane

Zinedine Zidane leads Real Madrid into the Champions League final on Saturday, and his former Juventus coach Marcello Lippi has been singing his praises.

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Zinedine Zidane will lead Real Madrid into the Champions League final on Saturday, and the Frenchman's former Juventus coach Marcello Lippi has been singing his praises.

Lippi and Zidane worked together at Juve between 1996 and 1999, winning two league titles.

They also reached the Champions League final in 1997 and 1998, only to lose to Borussia Dortmund and Madrid respectively.

Now in the top job at the Santiago Bernabeu, Zidane is preparing his players for this weekend's showdown against Atletico Madrid at San Siro, as Madrid go in search of an 11th European Cup triumph.

And Lippi, a World Cup winner in charge of Italy in 2006 - when Zidane was infamously sent off for headbutting Marco Materazzi in the final - has lauded the Frenchman.

"Honestly, he's been excellent," he told AS. "Zizou is a one off, there's no one else like him.

"He can do whatever he wants, he'll always be exceptional. He's perfect, on and off the pitch."

Zidane is going up against Atletico counterpart Diego Simeone, and Lippi knows the Argentinian's philosophy makes his side a tough prospect.

"Real Madrid and Atletico have both had fantastic seasons and deserve to be there to fight for the trophy. I have no doubt about that," he said.

"While many people may not consider them to be exponents of spectacular football, I consider both of them effective teams.

"It's a playing style with its own charm and it's effective. Simeone is capable of getting his message across clearly. He was like that as player and has carried that trait through to management.

"[Atleti] are very solid defensively, that's for sure, but they're also capable of playing very good football and are very well organised. They're not a flash in the pan. And they're anything but anti-football."

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