• Zinedine Zidane won the Ballon d'Or in 1998 (Getty Images)
Zinedine Zidane has a major admirer in the form of Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, who is preparing his team to face Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday (AEDT).
13 Oct 2017 - 1:08 PM  UPDATED 13 Oct 2017 - 1:08 PM

Tottenham make the daunting trip to the Santiago Bernabeu for a Group H showdown with the defending champions, where they will need a near-perfect performance to come away with the win.

Madrid won the La Liga title last season and became the first team to retain the European Cup in its present format when they dispatched Juventus 4-1 in the final in Cardiff.

Zidane, who replaced Rafael Benitez at the helm of Los Blancos in January 2016, took charge of both of those successful campaigns, having also won the competition as a player in 2001-02, when he scored a stunning volley to seal a 2-1 victory over Bayer Leverkusen at Hampden Park.

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And it is those exploits, on the field and now on the touchline, that have greatly impressed Tottenham's manager.

"Madrid have been the best team in the world in the last few years," Pochettino told beIN Sports.

"They've proved that and, honestly, I have a certain weakness for Zinedine Zidane, as a footballer and now.

"Of course, we'll try to use our weapons to play a good game and to win, because we're going there to win."