Real Madrid have two reasons to remember May 24 fondly, while cricketer Nasser Hussain is also unlikely to ever forget the date.

Madrid have lifted the Champions League trophy twice on this day in sporting history, beating familiar opponents on both occasions.

As for Hussain, the former England batsman bowed out with a final innings that was perfectly scripted (well, except for his involvement in an untimely run out).

Take a look back at the major moments to occur through the years.

 

2000 - Madrid prevail in all-Spain final 

Madrid and Valencia made Champions League history in Paris, as two clubs from the same country met in the final of Europe's premier club competition for the first time.

Valencia had reached the showpiece at the expense of Barcelona, including thrashing their LaLiga rivals 4-1 in the first leg of the semi-final on their way to a 5-3 aggregate triumph (the same scoreline by which they had knocked out Lazio in the previous round).

However, Vicente del Bosque's Madrid ran out comfortable winners on French soil, Fernando Morientes, Steve McManaman and Raul with the goals in a resounding 3-0 triumph.

2000 - Pistons legend Thomas rewarded 

A two-time NBA champion and 12-time All-Star, Isiah Thomas was honoured for his achievements with a place in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The point guard was selected by the Detroit Pistons with the second pick in the 1981 draft and went on to spend his entire playing career with the franchise, who retired his No.11 jersey.

Thomas played in 979 regular season games and was the focal point of the Detroit teams that won titles in 1989 and 1990, while the Pistons also had a heated rivalry with Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the early 1990s.

Bob McAdoo, a two-time champion himself who was a prolific scorer in a 21-year playing career, was also voted in alongside Thomas.

2004 - Hussain signs out in style

In what would prove to be his final innings, Hussain scored an unbeaten hundred to help England beat New Zealand at Lord's.

The Black Caps had left the hosts needing a tough target of 282 in the final innings of the series opener - and they had England wobbling early at 35-2 following the dismissals of Marcus Trescothick and Mark Butcher.

Debutant Andrew Strauss combined with Hussain to put on a century stand before the former was run out following a mix-up with his senior batting partner, denying the left-hander - playing on his home ground - the possibility of scoring a century in both innings, as he departed for 83.

Hussain, however, made amends for his role in Strauss' dismissal by going on to reach three figures in a seven-wicket triumph. Three days later, he announced his retirement, swiftly moving from the field of play to the commentary box to start a career in the media.

2014 - Madrid derby sees Real clinch 'La Decima'

A 10th European title finally arrived for Madrid, though not without a dramatic late intervention from Sergio Ramos. Having not won the Champions League since 2002, they appeared set to fall at the final hurdle when they trailed city rivals Atletico 1-0 going into added time in Lisbon.

Diego Godin's first-half header had the newly crowned LaLiga champions on the brink of glory, but Ramos popped up to meet a Luka Modric corner and nod in a last-gasp equaliser.

Carlo Ancelotti's side went on to dominate in extra time, goals from Gareth Bale, Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored from the penalty spot, sealing a 4-1 triumph.

To rub salt in the wounds for Atletico, boss Diego Simeone was sent off before the final whistle having ran onto the pitch to confront Raphael Varane following an incident in the aftermath to Ronaldo's goal.

Carlo Ancelotti says coaching Zinedine Zidane at Juventus changed his ideas on how to play football.

Ancelotti was in charge of the Bianconeri from 1999 to 2001 but was unable to deliver silverware beyond the Intertoto Cup despite boasting a talented squad that included Zidane, Alessandro Del Piero, Edgar Davids and Filippo Inzaghi.

However, his time with the 1998 Ballon d'Or winner helped to shape his coaching style for the remainder of a hugely successful career.

"Zidane is the first player who gave me the possibility to change the system and play in a different way," Ancelotti, now Everton boss, told Sky Sports.

"So, when I had Zidane, in the first year at Juventus, I played with a system of 3-4-1-2, having Del Piero and Inzaghi up front and Zidane a little bit behind. The second year, I played with a back four but keeping two strikers in front and one number 10, like Zidane.

"Zidane changed my idea about football. I was so focused before Juventus on 4-4-2 and after with Zidane, I changed, I wanted to put him in the best position for him, to let him be more comfortable on the pitch.

"The experience at Juventus was good in my opinion because I understood really well how the club has to work for the manager, so the club gave to me a lot of support in this. It doesn't matter if they fired me at the end of the second year, until the last day in Juventus, I understood how the club has to work for the manager, to support them, to help them in front of the players, to give the manager the power that he needs to manage the players."

Zidane went on to become Ancelotti's assistant at Real Madrid, where they ended Los Blancos' 12-year wait to be crowned champions of Europe by defeating Atletico Madrid after extra time in the 2014 Champions League final.

Ancelotti's time in Turin helped to him deliver success at the Santiago Bernabeu and learn how best to utilise the abilities of Cristiano Ronaldo and now club captain Sergio Ramos.

"The team had some problems in the past years when I arrived there," he said. "The fact that they were not able to win the Champions League for 12 years was like an obsession for them because Real Madrid was used to winning a lot of Champions Leagues.

"You don't have to build a team around Cristiano Ronaldo and as I said with Zidane, you have to put them in the more comfortable way on the pitch. I don't think you have to build strict tactics with this player defensively because there are players who are more involved in the attacking phase and there are players who have to be involved more in the defensive phase.

"Of course, they have to work together because the team is the most important part of the game, but strikers like Ronaldo who are able to score every single game, you don't have to give too much information defensively.

"It is the easiest way to be a manager, to manage a fantastic player because they are professional, they are serious, they have personality, they are motivated, so it is the easiest way.

"Sergio Ramos also has a fantastic quality. I think his best quality he has is not tactically, it's not technically, it's character and the personality that he has and the ability he has to motivate the people around him, like his team-mates. Ramos during that period was important for this, he was always at the top when the game was important and in the key moment of the games."

Zinedine Zidane is determined to finish the season with silverware after Real Madrid returned to group training this week.

The Madrid head coach has led sessions at Valdebebas this week, with players able to resume group workouts in small numbers.

It is hoped the 2019-20 LaLiga season, which was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, will be able to get back underway in June.

Madrid went into the enforced break two points behind leaders Barcelona, but Zidane is focused on making a fight of the title race if the campaign is able to resume.

"This week has been very good because we can work more in small groups. We can do more tactically, physically and technically," he told Real Madrid TV.

"The team looks better this week and next week will be much better.

"We have to think positively because we are lucky to be back at work, to be here on the pitch and it looks good to me. The players are thinking that now they have to make the most of it, to enjoy it.

"We have 11 matches left and we are going to prepare ourselves to finish the season well, strongly.

"In the end, the important thing is to give everything to win something. We are here, this is the DNA of the club, trying to win things.

"I'm happy to be working with my players again. It's the most important thing after 60 days. We are all happy to be back at Valdebebas. We've planned a way of working with the fitness coaches and the players are also happy to be able to train, to be together and enjoy doing what they like to do, which is play football."

Alvaro Odriozola revealed Zinedine Zidane wanted him to stay at Real Madrid instead of joining Bayern Munich on loan.

The Spain international, 24, left Madrid for Bayern on loan in January after making just five appearances for the LaLiga giants in the first half of the season.

Odriozola said Madrid head coach Zidane did not want him to join the Bundesliga side, where he has played just twice since arriving.

"I have contact with players and club employees and even with the doctors. Zidane is focused," the right-back told El Chiringuito de Jugones on Wednesday.

"When it came to talk about the departure I had several conversation with him and he showed me his support in private when Bayern were interested. Zidane did not want me to leave Madrid.

"It is appreciated that a figure like his thought more about me than himself. He is a great coach and a great person."

Odriozola joined Madrid from Real Sociedad for a reported €30million in July 2018.

A four-time Spain international, he is eager to succeed at Madrid, saying: "I dreamed of being a footballer.

"I have played for Real, I belong to Madrid and I am on loan at Bayern. Among my dreams is to succeed in Madrid. I really like to dream.

"I have fulfilled almost all my dreams and among those I have left is to succeed in Madrid."

Manchester United continue to be linked with a number of players, even during the football shutdown due to coronavirus.

Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho, Tottenham star Harry Kane and Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish.

Atletico Madrid sensation Joao Felix is the latest name on the list.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED EYE JOAO FELIX

Manchester United are interested in signing Atletico Madrid star Joao Felix, according to Le10 Sport.

Joao Felix swapped Benfica for Atletico in a big-money deal at the start of the 2019-20 season, having been linked to United.

United reportedly remain interested in Joao Felix and want the 20-year-old Portuguese attacker to follow in the footsteps of Red Devils great Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford.

 

ROUND-UP

- Could Zinedine Zidane be set for a return to Juventus? Le10 Sport claims the Serie A giants want the Real Madrid head coach to replace Juve boss Maurizio Sarri for the 2020-21 season. Zidane spent five years as a player in Turin, where the Frenchman won two Serie A trophies among other titles before moving to Madrid in 2001.

Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Madrid and Juve are monitoring Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, says Corriere dello Sport. Donnarumma is out of contract in 2021 and the Italy international goalkeeper is no closer to signing a new deal.

- Calciomercato reports Inter are working on extending Marcelo Brozovic's contract amid interest from Premier League leaders and Champions League holders Liverpool.

- United midfielder Paul Pogba remains Juve's number one target but the Bianconeri are ready to make a move for Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic if a deal does not materialise, says Calciomercato.

Arsenal, Milan and Leicester City are chasing Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer, claims journalist Nicolo Schira.

- According to journalist Alfredo Pedulla, Sarri wants to reunite with Chelsea star Jorginho at Juve. Sarri and Jorginho both joined Chelsea from Napoli in 2018-19. Now the Juve boss is interested in signing the midfielder again.

Samuel Umtiti does not want to leave Barcelona, SPORT reports. The French defender has previously been linked to United and Arsenal.

David Alaba is not a top target for Madrid but the LaLiga giants continue to monitor the Bayern Munich full-back, says Marca.

Could Zinedine Zidane still cut it on the pitch? A fellow Frenchman would certainly love to find out.

Wolfsburg captain Josuha Guilavogui was star-struck when he encountered the Real Madrid boss before a Champions League game four years ago.

And he would jump at the chance to be able to combine with World Cup winner Zidane in Wolfsburg's midfield, irrespective of the fact France's former captain turns 48 in June.

"We have a great team," said Guilavogui. "But if I had the chance to play with Zinedine Zidane, I would sign him immediately. Even if he's almost 50."

Zidane retired from playing after the 2006 World Cup, his dramatic last act being the headbutt into the chest of Italy's Marco Materazzi that saw him sent off in the final.

Like Zidane, Guilavogui was brought up on the French south coast.

Now 29, Guilavogui's respect for Zidane has only grown over the years, so when he encountered his compatriot before Wolfsburg's clash with Madrid in 2016 he was understandably blown away.

"I went up to him like a child," Guilavogui said in an Instagram Live event, according to Kicker.

"What he did for France is insane. He is the best player we have ever had and he is always a nice person too. When you think of him, you think of class."

Former Tottenham striker Mido believes Zinedine Zidane has added nothing to Real Madrid in his second stint in charge.

Zidane returned to the helm of the LaLiga giants in March last year, having won three Champions League titles with Madrid during his first spell.

Mido, who played for Spurs, Ajax and Egypt during his career, criticised Zidane over his second stint, saying it was a mistake for the Frenchman to return.

"I really like Real Madrid. They are my favourite team in the league," he told AS.

"From my point of view, Zidane didn't add anything to Madrid [on his return]. As there is a saying that says, 'Do not marry the same woman twice'."

Having won the Supercopa de Espana this season, Madrid sat second to Barcelona in LaLiga and were in the Champions League last 16 when the campaign was stopped due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mido said the health of people was far more important than football, with uncertainty over when, and if, seasons will resume.

"Soccer is something secondary during the current situation, which of course will affect all the teams in the world," he said.

"But people's lives are more important than soccer."

Zinedine Zidane took responsibility for Real Madrid's "worst game of the season" after a 2-1 loss to Real Betis in LaLiga on Sunday.

Former Barcelona forward Cristian Tello struck in the 82nd minute as Madrid stayed two points behind their rivals, despite having triumphed in last week's Clasico. 

Zidane accepted blame for the result, which came despite Karim Benzema's penalty cancelling out Sidnei's opener in the first half.

"I blame myself for everything. I am responsible," the Madrid coach said.

"I will not explain what has happened but it has been our worst game of the season."

With 11 games remaining in LaLiga, Madrid – whose last league title came in 2017 – are two points adrift of Barca.

While backing his players, Zidane also said they would be made aware of their deficiencies.

"I will defend my players, if I have something to say I will tell them," he said.

"We have lost many balls, which never happens to us and that has been our problem."

Zinedine Zidane accepts there is no long-term security as Real Madrid coach, though he denied being approached by his former club Juventus about a return to Serie A.

A report emerged on Friday claiming that Juventus, for whom Zidane played between 1996 and 2001 prior to joining Madrid, want the Frenchman to replace Maurizio Sarri.

Such a move to Turin would see Zidane reunite with Cristiano Ronaldo.

Zidane only came back to Madrid 12 months ago for a second spell in charge of Los Blancos, and last weekend's Clasico win over Barcelona took them to the top of LaLiga ahead of the latest round of fixtures.

However, while things may be rosy now, Zidane is realistic about the state of his profession.

"I am lucky to be able to live my passion, football, in this club," the 47-year-old said at a news conference on Saturday to preview Madrid's trip to Real Betis.

"It is a pride and I take every moment that this team gives me. The players are part of this story, they write something every day.

"In football there is no continuity of knowing what you will follow, the most important is the day to day.

"Sure I feel backed by the club, here we all go in the same direction, but then I know how this works.

"Now I am the coach of Real Madrid but tomorrow it could change.

"I am here and it is a joy. [Juventus] have not contacted me.

"There are many rumours circulating, but I haven't received any offers from anyone."

Madrid midfielder Eden Hazard flew to America to have an operation on his ankle this week after fracturing his right fibula in the defeat to Levante on February 22.

Zidane remains unsure if the Belgium international will return to his squad before the end of the season, though he described Hazard as being in a more upbeat mood following surgery.

"I think he feels better now, the operation went well," Zidane said. "Right now, he will have to work on his recovery, obviously.

"We can't tell you when he will be able to return. We don't know if he will return before the season is over, but of course we would love to have him before the season is over."

A fax machine prevented Real Madrid from signing David De Gea from Manchester United in 2015.

Madrid have continued to be linked with a move for the Spain international, despite bringing in Thibaut Courtois from Chelsea in 2018,

And the LaLiga giants could revisit the idea of signing De Gea at the end of the season amid doubts over the United goalkeeper's future in Manchester.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID TO RELAUNCH DE GEA BID

Real Madrid are planning a fresh bid to sign Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea, according to The Sun.

De Gea, who almost joined Madrid in 2015 but a fax problem scuppered the deal, is under pressure at United and is facing an uncertain future.

With Dean Henderson – on loan at Sheffield United – looming as a serious threat to De Gea's position, Madrid are reportedly ready to prise the Spain international to the Santiago Bernabeu, despite Thibaut Courtois' presence.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Daily Mail says Juventus are willing to splash the cash to lure Zinedine Zidane back to Turin as head coach. Zidane – who won two Serie A titles among other honours during his five years at Juve – is in charge of Madrid but has been linked with Bianconeri in the past.

Madrid are lining up an €80m bid for Napoli and Spain star Fabian Ruiz, reports Mundo Deportivo. LaLiga rivals Barcelona are also reportedly interested.

Arsenal are resigned to losing star forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, claims the Daily Mail.

- FCInterNews.it says Inter could move for Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik at the end of the season. Milik, who will become a free agent in June, has been negotiating a new deal with Napoli.

Borussia Dortmund are interested in Paris Saint-Germain full-back Thomas Meunier, according to Les Sports. It comes with Achraf Hakimi set to return to parent club Madrid following a two-year loan spell.

- L'Equipe revealed Mauro Icardi is unhappy at PSG. The Argentina striker is on loan from Inter, while Juve are reportedly eyeing a move for him at season's end.

United are open to Paul Pogba leaving the club as PSG and former club Juve plot moves, reports The Sun.

Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane hailed his players for regrouping from their Champions League collapse by upstaging Barcelona in the LaLiga El Clasico.

Pressure was on Madrid following their 2-1 defeat at home to Manchester City in the opening leg of the Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday.

Madrid conceded twice in five minutes during the final 12 minutes in a stunning finish against City, however, Zidane's side bounced back with a 2-0 victory over Barca on Sunday.

Vinicius Junior and substitute Mariano Diaz scored in the second half at the Santiago Bernabeu as Madrid leapfrogged defending champions Barca atop the LaLiga table.

Zidane expressed his pride post-match, telling reporters: "The reaction today has been important. The dressing room is not touched. It was a complicated week, but we prepared this game well. That means the players are in and want.

"We played 78 very good minutes and in the end we lost. Today we win playing well from start to finish. We need to stick to what we believe, but we know that it will be hard until the very end. We need to prove ourselves every time we play."

"We deserved the victory because of everything we did both defensively and offensively," Zidane added. "The first half was even and our press up front was not perfect. In the second half we improved our press and we were better up top.

"We really pushed them hard and almost overwhelmed them. These are three important points because it has been a difficult week and today we had the opportunity to change that. It's three points and we regained the lead, but we're going to have to fight to the end.

"We're happy because we've all shown that we've done very well and I'm proud of them because it's not easy to win like this. Our strength today was very important. The first thing is to defend well together and then we know that at any moment we can have opportunities to score goals.

"The second half was ours. We had a lot of chances to score and we netted twice. We kept a clean sheet and [Thibaut] Courtois was instrumental in that. We won the game as a team today."

Vinicius – at the age of 19 years and 233 days – became the youngest Clasico goalscorer this century, surpassing Barca superstar Lionel Messi with his 71st-minute opener before Mariano completed the win in stoppage time.

"Vinicius was good and he scored an important goal in an important game. I'm happy for him. He was good offensively and defensively he did a great job helping Marcelo with [Nelson] Semedo," Zidane said.

"He has conditions, but he is very young and sometimes the criticism is difficult. He has to live with that because he is at Real Madrid."

Lionel Messi is set to become the player with the most appearances in El Clasico for Barcelona after being named in the starting line-up to take on Real Madrid on Sunday.

The Argentina superstar will edge past Xavi as he racks up his 43rd outing in the biggest domestic fixture in world football at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Messi is the fixture's leading goalscorer, having netted 26 times against Barca's great rivals.

Barca head into the match, Quique Setien's first Clasico at the helm, two points ahead of their rivals at the top of LaLiga.

The visitors boast a seven-match unbeaten run against Madrid in top-flight meetings, with the Camp Nou showdown in December having finished goalless.

While Barcelona's only change from the side that drew 1-1 with Napoli on Tuesday saw Arthur take Ivan Rakitic's place in midfield, Zinedine Zidane made two adjustments to the Madrid team that lost 2-1 to Manchester City in midweek.

Ferland Mendy and Luka Modric dropped to the bench as Marcelo returned at left back and Toni Kroos started in midfield, while Gareth Bale had to settle for a place among the substitutes.

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane stressed Toni Kroos' absence from his team in midweek was a tactical decision and he told reporters to stop looking for another meaning behind the omission.

Germany international Kroos was surprisingly left out of Los Blancos' starting line-up for the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie against Manchester City, which Madrid lost 2-1.

The 30-year-old had started five of Madrid's six group games and Zidane confirmed after the loss that there was no injury, though Kroos did not even make it onto the pitch.

Madrid face Barcelona in Sunday's El Clasico, with Kroos training as normal on Saturday, and despite suggestions there could be a rift developing between player and coach, Zidane was quick to shut down such talk.

"Always when there is a bad result you look for something," he told reporters.

"We did not lose because he didn't play.

"There are things that can happen in a specific moment, in a match, and we have chosen this team.

"Those who came in played well and I chose a different alternative to Toni Kroos the other day. There's nothing else.

"You do not have to look for other things."

Luka Modric, Casemiro and Federico Valverde all started in midfield against City, with Kroos having started in Madrid's previous two LaLiga games, neither of which they won.

Zidane's side host Barcelona on Sunday knowing a third successive defeat in all competitions would leave them five points behind the leaders in the title race.

 

Zinedine Zidane claimed he has given little thought to whether his job security hinges on winning LaLiga as Real Madrid bid to get back on track against Barcelona on Sunday.

Madrid go into the latest Clasico having won just one of their past five games in all competitions, with the LaLiga loss at Levante followed up by a home midweek defeat to Manchester City in the Champions League.

Should they crash to a third straight loss in Sunday's crucial game at the Santiago Bernabeu, reigning champions Barca would go five points clear in the title race with 12 games remaining.

Madrid are already out of the Copa del Rey and face a big task to avoid exiting the Champions League at the last-16 stage, yet Zidane said he is not worried about whether he needs to win LaLiga to stay in his job.

"I don't know, that question is for someone else," he said at a news conference on Saturday.

"I know what I need to do. We're going to try and win a competition this season, that's what we're working towards."

Barca will arrive in the Spanish capital buoyed by the fact they have not lost a league Clasico at the Bernabeu since 2014.

Moreover, Madrid are winless in three games at home, with Zidane acknowledging the situation is far from ideal ahead of a fixture with their big rivals.

"It is a delicate moment because there are three games that we have not won in the stadium," the Frenchman admitted.

"But the ones who know about football know that these things can happen.

"We need a positive spirit. We do not listen to what is said. We need our people with us from the first minute to 90.

"I understand that the people may be upset but we need the people and we will give everything."

Part of the problem has been a lack of goals.

Top scorer Karim Benzema has not found the net in his previous five appearances and Sergio Ramos is the only other Madrid player to have scored more than three times in the league.

Though Eden Hazard will be absent due to injury, and Gareth Bale has gone almost an entire year without scoring at home, Zidane highlighted how Madrid were unbeaten between October and February.

"I am not worried because for four months we were winning games," he said of the lack of goals.

"Even without Eden. I don't like that he is injured, but we have won. We need to be solid."

Zinedine Zidane lamented Real Madrid's loss of concentration against Manchester City but insisted the Champions League last-16 tie is far from over following a 2-1 defeat.

Madrid collapsed at home to Pep Guardiola's City, who scored twice in five minutes late in the second half to snatch the momentum after the opening leg on Wednesday.

Winners of four of the past six Champions League titles, LaLiga giants Madrid earned a 1-0 lead courtesy of Isco on the hour-mark at the Santiago Bernabeu.

But Madrid saw their advantage crumble away as Gabriel Jesus headed in a 78th-minute equaliser before Kevin De Bruyne completed the comeback via the penalty spot five minutes later, with Sergio Ramos' late red card compounding Zidane's woes.

"We're gutted to have lost, but we know the tie is over 180 minute and no matter what happens that's the way it is," head coach Zidane told reporters. "Even if we'd won. We did the hard work scoring, and then in 10 minutes they scored two."

Madrid captain Ramos will miss the return leg in Manchester after bringing down Jesus with four minutes remaining and Zidane said: "That's football. We can't change it. We need to focus on the positives.

"In a result like that there aren't many positive things, we played well but for the last 10 or 15 minutes. Now we need to go there and win if we want to go through."

"They are mistakes and you pay when you make mistakes," Zidane continued. "That's it. But mistakes are a part of football and that's the way it is.

"We gave everything on the pitch, we lacked 10 minutes of concentration more. It was a very physical, even game and at the end we paid for it."

Madrid, who have only won one of their past five fixtures across all competitions, will travel to the Etihad Stadium to face City on March 17.

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