Zidane and Klopp’s very different paths to Kiev

Two of the most respected coaches in football will meet in this weekend’s Champions League final, but Zinedine Zidane and Jurgen Klopp have had very different paths to get where they are today.

The Frenchman made his name as a player, winning this tournament with one of the best goals in the competition’s history, before also winning a medal as Carlo Ancelotti’s assistant and then embarking on his own coaching career, starting with Castilla.

Yet he didn’t immediately go into coaching after hanging up his boots, whereas Klopp did exactly that at the end of a modest playing career.

The German started out at Mainz in 2001 and worked his slowly way up the ladder, earning success at Borussia Dortmund and now at Liverpool.

Unlike Zidane, he has tasted European final defeat along the way, losing the 2013 Champions League final to Bayern Munich with Dortmund and then the 2016 Europa League final to Sevilla with Liverpool.

Zidane, meanwhile, has won all his European finals so far and has not yet been knocked out of the Champions League as a head coach.

Even the two coaches’ styles are different, with Zidane the quiet man manager and Klopp the noisy tactical revolutionary.

Their paths to Ukraine really could not have been more different, but here they are and they are preparing to do battle against each other for the first time.

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