Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Mourinho on the present Real Madrid squad

In comments reported by Marca, new Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho spoke of the challenges he will face in his tenure at the Santiago Bernabeu and previewed some of his plans for Los Blancos in the coming season.

"I am not an anti-Barcelona plan," said Mourinho. "I am Real Madrid's coach and I am not worried about Barcelona. What is important to me is building a great Madrid. Barca are a great rival in the Champions League and domestically, but I don't want to think of Barca right now. If I am hated in Barcelona, that is not my problem."

Questioned about the composition of the team and asked whether he will try to keep more Spanish players in the team, Mourinho stated that this summer would not see as many changes as last summer.

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"A club's identity has nothing to do with nationality. The club's identity is never going to change and the footballing identity is something I will develop with my players. I don't want to speak of players because when Real Madrid's coach speaks about a player, that player's price goes up €10 million more. I am happy with the basic squad from last year and we don't need dramatic changes, just three or four players to make a team with better chances of adapting to an ideal style of play. It will not be a summer to write about new signings at Real Madrid; I think it will be a bit more calm"

Taking a job at Real Madrid is one of the most high-stakes positions in football, yet Mourinho was unperturbed by the challenges that lie ahead. "I don't feel a different kind of pressure being at Real Madrid," assured the genius.

When asked about his play being too defensive, Mourinho sought to dispel the media smear campaign calling his style closed and un-entertaining. "I have played in a UEFA Cup final and two Champions League finals. We won all three and scored eight goals in the finals. When one repeats a lie, for intelligent people it remains a lie. For the rest, it becomes a truth. It's one thing how one organizes a team and a defensive scheme is another thing altogether. When a team is organised it defends well - all players are involved in attack and defense."

Asked about his role in creating controversy, Mourinho plead not guilty. "I am not a provocateur, I am a worker and I want respect. If we have respect, perfect. If not, I will defend my group without any problem."

On his philosophy for a team, he stressed: "I am a coach who adapts his philosophy to the players he has, trying to get the best out of my players. Normally, players feel valued again after their work with me. A team needs to have an equilibrium. One needs to work with and without the ball, be strong offensively and defensively, have psychological balance, and win matches. Winning matches is very important because it makes one psychologically stronger and more confident, without which it is impossible to win titles."

Mourinho was then asked about the future of club captain Raul: "I don't want to say anything about Raul because I have not yet spoken with the club. I arrived today and I have not yet done anything for Real Madrid and am not yet in the club's history. Raul is and I need to respect that. For that reason, and I need to be honest, I cannot treat him like any other player."

Asked about his personal relationship with his players, Mourinho spoke of the close bond he enjoys having between player and coach. "Football is more than a tactic or a training session. Football is played with a group of men who work together and form a family. The club is our second family. To achieve this, we need to have a lot of empathy and after that they are my players forever."

"I continue to speak with players I had at Porto and Chelsea and I speak of my players as if they were still my players. This relationship is what I want to use to bring stability to the players at Real Madrid. Sometimes I miss some of my ex-players and we have a lot of memories. I have players that have said: 'If you leave, I stop playing'."

On his top priorities at Real Madrid, Mourinho highlighted the Champions League. "The most important thing is to win the European Cup. I cannot promise that we will go far in the Champions League; football is football. What I can promise is that while Real Madrid may not finish at the top of the group, in the knockout phase lottery it will not be us that will be scared but rather our rivals who will be nervous about playing Real Madrid.

"We will play against Inter, Chelsea, or Bayern but I do not want fear in my dressing room, but rather in the opposing dressing room. Madrid has an incredibly negative history in the Champions League in recent years but now we start at zero. We will take it match by match without obsession and I like dreaming of the final at Wembley. Pressure is a factor of motivation for me that is not going to complicate my work."

Jose Mourinho : I am here because of this club's outstanding history

New Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has revealed his excitement about what lies ahead following his first day in the job, insisting he will be a success with los Blancos.

“I am very excited. Real Madrid is the perfect club for me because it is big, very ambitious and has tremendous potential,” Mourinho told the club's official website.

“I am very confident in my abilities and have high self-esteem. I believe everything will turn out for the best and that I will be very successful. I always think positively.”

Mourinho jumped ship following his unprecedented treble with Inter and went on to reveal what urged him to accept president Florentino Perez’s offer.

"I am here because of this club's outstanding history,” he said.

“Fans who go to the Bernabeu always expect the best. During the pre-season they are already thinking about the titles the team will win. Real Madrid's method of thinking is not that different than mine.”

Finally, the ‘Special One’ said he was looking forward to the challenge and that he welcomed the pressure of such a high-profile role.

"I will first put all the pressure on myself to work as hard as I can, to stay motivated and to feel the pressure. I need to have this kind of pressure. If I can be in an environment where I have this kind of pressure, even better.”