03 March 2012
Alberto Navarro / Translation by Michael J. O'Donnell
Jose Mourinho analysed tomorrow's match and had praise for Higuain and Granero in today's press conference.
"Only a stupid coach would want one of the best centre forwards in the world to leave his team. Higuain may have failed to score in the last few games, but that doesn't make him less special to me and I have no intention of seeing him leave Real Madrid."
"Benfica dropped eight points in only fifteen days in the Portuguese league. It's happened before and it will happen again. Only maths are definitive in football and I know that sounds repetitive, but only maths determine the final places on the table. We will continue working to try to win our games and stay at the top till the end."
"The most important thing to us right now is our match against Espanyol at the Bernabeu. They are a very good side and they have a great coach. They will not be afraid to try to win at the Bernabeu. Depending on what the runners-up do, we will either keep or increase our lead by winning and we'll have one game less to play. That's all we should think about."
"Every team in Europe has players suffering from muscle injuries. These are normal, especially when the internationals on a team play for their countries. Club players have a certain recovery routine that is more important than training, and some players break with that routine when they join their national teams. This is not a criticism, but we're all different. I will go through the same thing if I'm ever a national coach. Bodies resent themselves and injuries happen more easily. Some injuries happen quite some time after an international match is played."
"Di Maria is injured and he is too important in our style. We lose quality without him. He is working to recover and it wouldn't be anything out of the ordinary if he used outside help to complimenting the recovery work he does with us. All players have people they work with more closely during injuries. What matters is that he recovers as soon as possible because he truly makes his mark on the team and we're different without him."
"I don't know how fit Kaka will be for the match yet. He didn't train yesterday, but given the many injuries we sustain we'll need everyone available, so we'll have to see if he can make a sacrifice for 20, 45 or 90 minutes. We'll see how he responds to training."
"No offence, but Real Madrid is a much better team than the Turkish national side. Club sides are better than national teams and it's easier to play regularly for your country's team than for your club because the teams are stronger. It's great news for us that Sahin did well and he can do even more if he continues to have a great preseason and to grow with the team. We're in no condition to kid around and use players who, in my opinion, aren't as productive as others right now."
"Granero is playing because he has great character and a strong personality. He is the sort of player I believe Real Madrid can't afford to lose. He should end his career here. He is a symbol of what Real Madrid embodies and he never lets us down. He is the only player I could be blamed for not using as much as he deserved in the first half of the season."
"I don't have to explain my private life to anyone, but out of respect for the club we always notify when any of us leaves Madrid. I told the President and the Director General I was going to London. I shouldn't ask any of you for permission or even tell you where I've been. That's my problem and nobody else's. I'm leaving again on Monday and I don't think I should have to fill in a permission slip."