Jose Mourinho says success for Real Madrid under Zinedine Zidane in the Champions League would “gloss over” the club’s season and make fans forget about Rafael Benitez’s reign.
Barcelona are hot favourites to win La Liga over Madrid going into the last week of the season, while the Santiago Bernabeu side were expelled from the Copa del Rey for fielding an ineligible player, Denis Cheryshev, against Cadiz in December.
But Real have the chance to win an 11th Champions League title when they face Atletico Madrid in Milan on May 28 and Mourinho thinks that will ensure the club’s problems under current Newcastle United boss Benitez – who was sacked in January – will be forgotten.
“Zidane arrived late during the middle of the season but has been instrumental in transforming the dynamic at the club,” Mourinho was quoted as saying by AS on his trip to Mexico for Friday’s FIFA Congress.
“If Zidane wins the Champions League then everyone will forget about the problems that the club experienced pre-Christmas before the change of coach and the enduring memory will be that of an 11th European Cup win.
“Zizou has got his team to the Champions League final and for a team with an indifferent start that presents a massive opportunity to gloss over the season as a whole.
“It will be a final between two sides who know each other very well, Madrid and Atletico. I think we are in for an excellent game.”
Mourinho managed Madrid between 2010 and 2013, winning one league title and a Copa del Rey medal.