Owen surprised by Zidane success

Zinedine Zidane's success as Real Madrid coach has surprised his former team-mate Michael Owen.

Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane   -  Getty Images

Former Liverpool and Real Madrid forward Michael Owen admits he is surprised by the success of Zinedine Zidane's transition into management.

Owen played for Madrid in the 2004-05 season alongside the former France captain, the Englishman scoring 16 times in 45 appearances.

A win against Liverpool in Kiev on Saturday would seal a third consecutive Champions League title for Zidane's Madrid, but Owen said he previously was not certain of his former team-mate's managerial credentials.

"He kept to himself. He's a lovely chap and when you talk to him, he's easy to talk to," he told Omnisport, speaking courtesy of Sports Tonight/Dubai Eye 103.8.

"But in general he had that demeanour in the dressing room when, if there's a few people laughing and joking, he'd be sat there just taking everything in and assessing the situation.

"So I didn't think that he'd be the one to do what a manager has to do and lead from the front."

Reflecting on his own time in the Spanish capital, Owen drew parallels between the two clubs and their history in Europe.

"When you put the shift on and you wear a certain badge, you do feel the history of the club," he said.

"If you're playing for Liverpool on a European night, you just know there's magic in the air, you've seen it and it gives you so much belief.

"I think it's similar with Real Madrid. As soon as you put that shirt on, you know the Champions League is where you need to be focusing on.

"They've got players that just come alive or know how to do it when they need to do it. You can't buy that experience."

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