News and opinions
03 December 2012
José Mourinho appeared in the press room at Real Madrid’s Football City the day before the match against Ajax. The Whites’ coach, who revealed that "Adán, Nacho, Ronaldo, Benzema, Khedira and Coentrão will play", spoke about his future at the club and his relationship with club president Florentino Pérez: "I do my job every day. My future is that tomorrow I’ll have my 101st Champions League match and UEFA will confirm that. Neither I nor I think the president will say a word about it. I have nothing to say about what we talked about. My relationship with him is very good and I will not be giving any substance to this situation. You have no story".
The Portuguese analysed his team’s last match in the Champions League’s toughest group: "Qualifying from this group is a success because we knew that a big team and title contender would be going out. The other two are through and that should be seen as a success because there was a big risk of being knocked out. We have played demanding matches and that's good because we play the most important matches of the match days, but that competitiveness means that you accumulate cards and means that players are on the verge of a suspension while other teams can handle these situations better and do, without being punished, what we did three years ago against Ajax. We are already qualified and we can go out to win the match and our players will play without any pressure. Denis, José Rodríguez and Morata might have the chance to come on from the bench and Nacho will make his Champions League debut. We want to win because we are not here to give anything away and we have to play at our best".
The Real Madrid coach revealed the names of some of the players that will start against Ajax and those of others that will be rested, either because of the coach’s decision or due to suspension: "Adán, Nacho, Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Khedira and Coentrão will play. Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso will not play because they have two cards and I cannot risk them because I want them available for the round of 16 first leg. Arbeloa is suspended and cannot play."
When asked what the team are lacking he said: "We need to play every match with the same level of concentration and project our personality and ambition because they all mean as much as each other to me. We have to play to the best of our ability and with the aim of winning but sometimes we come across difficulties created by our opponents and how well they play like against Betis. I like emotional continuity. The footballing side is separate because we have good players, with a well defined and constructed style of play, which got us where it got us last season has taken us to two Champions League semi-finals. The emotional side of things is important and the injuries also do not help because we have lost important players following international breaks. We want to finish the year in the best way possible and then take advantage of the Christmas period to train well and hope that Marcelo, Higuaín and Albiol make their return as soon as possible".
When asked for the reason that he went out on to the pitch at the Bernabéu about half an hour before the derby against Atletico he was clear: "I do not notice anything because I was watching Casillas and the other goalkeepers warming up with Silvino. I went out early because I was expecting lots of whistles and some sort of animosity towards me and I preferred that it happened before the match and was addressed personally towards me so that during the match they would support the team and have positive feelings and help their players and their team".
Mourinho also referred to rumours that put him at PSG next season: "About PSG I will say that one of my assistants will go to watch the match tomorrow because they are a potential opponent. They’re playing against Porto and both of them could be drawn against us. That's the only thing that I am bothered about in Paris". When questioned about his relationship with the Atletico coach he said: “I have a very nice, polite and correct relationship with Simeone and Gil Marín at Atletico. Before the match I was talking to Simeone in the tunnel. We are rivals from the same city, but I do not have any problems with anybody from that team".
Another issue that the Whites’ coach was asked about was Ferguson's words of praise about his work on the Real Madrid bench: "That is what friends are like, they always speak nicely about each other. Friendship is like that, always being there for your friends. Some people think that there is room for betrayal in friendship and others have a deep respect. His succession is a long way off and it will be ten years away because he is stronger every year. What would he want to retire for?"
As for why his team is conceding more goals in European competition than in the league he was blunt: "The difference is in the quality of the opponents. Manchester City are outrageously powerful and have many dangerous players and Dortmund are one of the best teams in Europe". Finally, about whether Cristiano Ronaldo is happy at Real Madrid and about his selection as the best Ibero-American player he said: "It's a surprise for him to be chosen as the best Ibero-American player. I think it’s a big surprise, but a good one. Do you not want to know who's playing tomorrow? That's more interesting than knowing if Cristiano is happy or is going to stay".