22 August 2012
José Mourinho appeared before the media in the press room at Ciudad Real Madrid. The Whites coach, who confirmed that Albiol would be in the starting line-up in the Camp Nou and that Pepe would not, spoke of the first match of the Super Cup against Barcelona and analysed the previous occasions in which his team has played in the Catalonian capital: “We've played well in our last games in Barcelona and they've been even matches. Last year's victory came as a consequence of many similar matches. We've played well each time we've been there recently and we've always achieved results at the limit: draws, losses by very little... winning the last match was almost normal considering the way we've played in our last games there”.
The Real Madrid coach made reference to the influence the first title of the year will have on the rest of the season: “I don't think it will make any difference. And if it does in some way, and if I could choose, I'd choose to lose the Super Cup now and win the Liga like last year. If it's a motivating factor to win the Liga, I'd sign up for that. I think it's the least important competition of the four that we play and it's completely inconsequential in terms of the season. It's a competition that we want to win and our opponent does too. Among rival clubs, even if it's a summer tournament such as that played in Italy, you always want to win. It's a competition that everyone wants to win, but it doesn't influence how the season progresses”.
Questioned about the possibility that his team is physically tired, the Portuguese coach was emphatic: “There's no point feeling bad or looking for excuses. We've known the situation for a long time and we expected that almost all our players would get through to the semi-finals and the final of the European Cup. We knew that the preseason would be short and that the national sides would have friendlies... they're not ideal conditions but let's not make a drama out of it”.
Concerning Pepe's health and the possibility of him participating in the opening line-up that will compete against Barcelona, Mourinho stated: “Pepe's not going to play. He'd like to, but we'd rather he didn't. It isn't humane to risk a player for a football match, regardless of what match it is. We have no doubt, neither the medical department nor the coach, that he won't play. He's progressing very well and we both think and have a good feeling that on Sunday he'll be completely in the clear. Albiol will play”.
In reference to the matches played by the national sides and how they affect his players, the Portuguese coach revealed: “We're open to receiving and having the best relationship possible with all the national side coaches. Last week we were with France's new coach because we have players in common. We've never had preferential treatment from anyone and we don't expect it. Experience has taught us that they're not going to help us in that sense. We know that these matches exist in the season calendar and the Federations have the freedom to decide where they play and the coaches to decide who they call up”.
The Real Madrid coach was also asked about Sahin, Kaká and Carvalho. About the Turkish player, he said: “I want him to play. I like the option of the Premier League because it can give him playing characteristics that he doesn't have and the Premier League is perfect for giving players particular characteristics. But it's not true that I want him to go to one team or another. I only hope that his transfer is confirmed as soon as possible for his sake”. Regarding the Brazilian player he commented: “It's a different situation because in Nuri's case we have proposals on the table and the player is analysing them, but we don't have any official proposals for Kaká so it isn't a similar situation or one that can be compared. He didn't play against Valencia and we used up a substitution with Pepe's injury”. In terms of Carvalho and a possible offer from England he said: “I can't confirm anything and, in addition, I don't know if the information is correct or not because sometimes the information isn't correct. They already signed a centre back”.
Lastly, Mourinho spoke of Barcelona, his rival tomorrow: “It's a team with practically all the same players from last season and their style, which could change because Vilanova will have to have some way of differentiating himself. Barcelona is the same team that we've seen in recent years, a quality team with great players. It doesn't seem very different to me from last season's team”.
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