Zinedine Zidane has revealed losing to Tottenham in the Champions League last season helped Real Madrid learn important lessons before going on to win the competition.
Madrid and Zidane won their third successive Champions League trophy last term, beating Liverpool 3-1 in the final.
But the European champions looked all at sea earlier in the campaign, drawing 1-1 with Spurs at the Bernabeu before suffering a 3-1 defeat against the Londoners at Wembley.
Tottenham were excellent at the national stadium, taking a three-goal lead thanks to Dele Alli’s brace and a Christian Eriksen strike before Cristiano Ronaldo pulled one back for the visitors late on.
And Zidane, who left Madrid not long after lifting the trophy, has said his side grew stronger as a result of losing to Spurs.
“They’re a good young team – well-balanced and very committed,” the former France international told UEFA.
“We didn’t manage to get our game going or deal with the periods where we were on the back foot.
“Ultimately, however, that poor performance helped to make us stronger, as we made sure that we learned lessons from it as a team.”
Tottenham ended up topping their tough Champions League group last season ahead of Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and APOEL Nicosia.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men have been handed another tough group this season, drawn alongside Barcelona, PSV Eindhoven and Inter Milan.