Jose Mourinho has labelled Barcelona’s effort of retaining the coveted European Cup as an obsession, and not a dream. The Internazionale boss spoke ahead of the vital second leg tie at the Camp Nou where his side take in a 3-1 aggregate lead after goals from Sneijder, Maicon and Milito in Milan a week prior has set up a tantalising return in Spain.
According to the Portuguese tactician who worked at Barcelona as a right hand man to both Louis Van Gaal and the late Sir Bobby Robson, is under no illusion that his former employers have developed an unhealthy obsession of wanting to win Europe’s prestigious prize at the home of their bitterest rivals Real Madrid come the middle of May.
“When we came here in November (in the groups stages, when Barca won 2-0), the fans were already singing ‘we’re going to Madrid. What I want to say to my players is to follow the dream, not make it an obsession, because for us this is a dream and not an obsession, for Barcelona it’s not a dream, it’s an obsession.
“A dream is about pride and my players will be very, very proud to reach the final in Madrid, Moscow, London or wherever, but for them it is different, they reached the dream by winning the final in Rome, by winning the final in Paris. Now it’s an obsession.
“And the obsession is called Madrid and Santiago Bernabeu.”
The Catalans are aiming to become the first team to win the Champions League in consecutive seasons after Captain Carlos Puyol lifted the trophy aloft after a 2-0 victory in Rome last year against Manchester United. Mourinho, who has won the competition himself after leading Porto to glory in 2004, insists his side are craving and relishing the dream of appearing in the show piece final.
“For Inter it is different – it has been more than 40 years since Inter’s players have been in a Champions League final, so it is a dream for Inter’s players and supporters.”
Meanwhile Dutch international Wesley Sneijder who was very influential in the outcome of the 1st leg has been struggling with a thigh problem this week, but trained as normal on Tuesday and will start according to his manager.