Search icon


16th Mar 2017

Zinedine Zidane is running scared of resurgent Leicester ahead of Champions League draw (sort of)

Or was it a bluff?

Simon Lloyd

Only a matter of weeks ago, it seemed certain that Leicester City would be following their historic Premier League victory with relegation.

Hovering just above the bottom three, the club’s owners were so concerned by the club’s lack of form that they saw fit to show Claudio Ranieri the door.

Now though, things are looking considerably brighter for the English champions.

Leicester’s players have picked up maximum points from their two Premier League outings under Craig Shakespeare, prompting a good number of snake emojis in the process. Not only that, on Tuesday evening, they managed to overturn a 2-1 first leg defeat to Sevilla at the King Power, becoming the Premier League’s only Champions League representatives at the quarter final stage.

Ahead of Friday’s draw, Zinedine Zidane – manager of current and 11-time European champions Real Madrid – has paid the Foxes quite the compliment.

Although many will see Leicester as the weaker of the eight teams that remain in the competition, Zidane made it perfectly clear that he doesn’t fancy playing them.

“I don’t think there will be a single coach who are hoping they face Leicester.

“They keep achieving what they are told they can’t achieve.

“Many thought they couldn’t turnaround the defeat against Sevilla and they did.”

Although he admitted that Claudio Ranieri’s Craig Shakespeare’s men won’t be the favourites regardless of who they play, Zidane explained that this will work in their favour.

“Whatever club Leicester face, they won’t be favourites. And with that pressure off them and on the other team, anything can happen.

“We have seen they have some very talented players but they also play with a lot of passion and heart. That is never easy to face.

“In the last eight, you are going to be in for two tough games. It’s the stage of the competition where everybody starts to believe and to dream they can win it.”

Catch up with the latest episode of 888Sport Football Friday Live