Jose Mourinho, speaking to the press before the Bayern Munich v Inter Milan Champions League final.
On the importance of the game:
“This game is the most important in the world. It is even bigger than the World Cup because the teams in it are at a higher level than national teams, who can’t buy the best players. If you hold it to be important, you have to transmit that to the players.”
On Inter’s tactics in the Champions League:
“I think that this season I haven’t seen a match like the one between Inter and Barcelona at the San Siro. I haven’t seen a team play the way we did. We attacked aggressively against the champions of Europe. We scored three goals against the champions of Europe.
We won the tie in Barcelona, but everyone talks about Barcelona winning and says we parked the bus in front of the goal. We didn’t park the bus, we parked the airplane and we did it for two reasons. One, because we only had 10 men and two, because we beat them 3-1 at San Siro, not by parking the bus, or the boat or the airplane, but by smashing them at the San Siro.
I haven’t seen anyone play the way we did against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea isn’t a small team, it is the champion of England and no one plays like that at Stamford Bridge. Only we have played two games of the level we did against Chelsea and against Barcelona.”
On Real Madrid:
“It’s not a problem of contract or money and that makes me slightly embarrassed because of what I earn considering the (world economic) crisis there is. It’s a problem of personal satisfaction, to feel respected or not in a football nation where I have had so many problems.
It’s not true that I’m the Real coach. After the final, I want to think about my future. Obviously, Inter cannot do anything more to make me feel happy and feel important. The players are fantastic, so are the fans and everyone at the club. The result of Saturday’s game means nothing.
My successor? The club chose me and chose well. At this time, I am the Inter coach. I have a contract until 2012 or 2013, I don’t remember.”
Mourinho to Real Madrid? Really?
It’s a story that’s been doing the rounds for months (if not years), and it seems likely to happen now, what with Mourinho fed up with Italy (the feeling seems mutual) and Madrid set to replace Pellegrini. The thing is, Mourinho loves a challenge and right now the challenge at Madrid is to beat the best team in Europe – Barcelona – and it’s a challenge he wouldn’t say no to.
He won’t get the control over the team he craves, but if he gets even one full season at the club he will build a winning system that will endure his departure (see Chelsea and to an extent, Inter). The press won’t love him (they never do until he leaves), the fans won’t always be with him but if he can win over the players and deliver on his (expected) promise to beat Barcelona, he’ll get his chance.
I don’t see him sticking around for too long, but it should be fun to watch, at least.