EXCLUSIVE: Paul Lambert was widely credited with the retirement of Zinedine Zidane when Borussia Dortmund beat Juventus to secure Champions League glory in 1997 – and they met again years later in Madrid
The former Norwich, Aston Villa, Wolves and Stoke manager spent a full season at Borussia Dortmund in 1996/97, helping them beat Juventus to claim their first and only Champions League title.
The midfielder was voted the best player on the pitch by many spectators, largely due to his expert assessment of one of the best creators in the world in France international Zinedine Zidane.
Lambert has now set out his thoughts on his performance, detailing what happened when they were reunited years later when he saw Real Madrid train under Carlo Ancelotti.
Lambert told Daily Star Sport on behalf of BT Sport: “I think people make a lot more of it than what it is, because when I went to the Bundesliga, I played against Thomas Hassler, Stefan Effenberg, Mehmet Scholl and Krasimir Balakov played which were big number 10 for themselves.
« Zidane was someone else who I knew everything about him beforehand, I knew the Juventus team before and I just had an inner belief that it would take a really good team to beat us at the time.
« I knew the danger of him and how graceful he was with the ball and he can go one way or another very easily, that was a big thing to remember.
« One thing I didn’t realize was how big he was and how big he was. He was one of the best players in the world, if not the best in the world at the time. ”
Lambert and Zidane faced each other years later after they both took over management, and they shared memories of the occasion while watching Real Madrid on the train.
« I’ve met him since then, » revealed Lambert. Before adding, “I met him at Real Madrid and I saw Real Madrid when Carlo Ancelotti was coach there and we were introduced.
Ipswich boss Lambert left Dortmund to return to Scotland in the same year as his Champions League triumph and he has only fond memories of his brief stay in Germany.
He added, “It was different for a number of reasons. The language and the culture were a change, what a time it was, it was absolutely brilliant.
“I played for a special club at a special time, at a special time when Borussia Dortmund was so strong.
« If we look back on that time without comparing it with the team, we had incredible players and an incredible success with the Champions League. ”
BT Sport is the exclusive home of the Bundesliga. Watch Borussia Dortmund against Cologne on BT Sport ESPN from 2. Saturday 28. November, 30 p.m..
Real Madrid C. . F.. . , Isco, UEFA Champions League, Zinedine Zidane, La Liga
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