28 April 2011

Exclusive: Jose Mourinho’s translated interview

If he (the referee) says that he’s sorry to UEFA, I will end my career today. Why can he not, I ask. Why? How can we have Ovrebo, Bussaca, Stark? Why? Every semi-final, it’s the same thing. We are speaking about a FANTASTIC football team. So why is what Obrevo did at Stamford Bridge two years ago necessary? Why what happened against Inter last year? You need a miracle to beat them.

Why not let us try and finish the tie when it could have gone on for three hours and ended 0-0? With our strategy we were not going to lose. So why did we? Maybe it’s because advertising Unicef gets you sympathy, maybe having [Spanish Football Federation chief) Villar on UEFA gets you sympathy, or some form of congratulations for being a great football team? I don't know why. All I can do is leave this question and wait to see if there'll be any response.

I should not have to be here, and it should not have been a red card. Let's see if somebody will explain why because I don't understand. A foul, yes, a free to Barcelona and then? Miraculously, a red. So, next week we'll play in Barcelona in the second leg. If we were talking about something difficult in sporting terms, after what happened tonight it's simply impossible. They have to get to final... and they will get to final. Full stop. Why does such a great team need something every time, something so obvious for all to see? Obervo, Bussaca, and now Stark...

Football is a game that should be played with the rules applied equally to all. And at the end, it should be won by the better team, the team that deserves it most. It would have been better today if we'd drawn nil-all, and if in the second leg Barca had beaten us, we would accepted it is 'fair-play'.

Why in a game that was so finely balanced at 0-0, did he [Stark] have to do what he did? Only the referee can answer that one; but he won’t. Last year, at Inter we had a miracle to to progress with 10 men, but another miracle this year simply wasn’t possible.

Yes; Real Madrid is now eliminated from the Champions League. We will go with total pride and respect. At times it disgusts me to live in such a world, to earn my living in this world that is football. We will to to the Camp Nou proudly; without Pepe, who did nothing, with Sergio Ramos, who did nothing wrong, and without a coach… And if, somehow, we go there and score and perhaps open this tie just a little bit- they’ll kill us all over again. We have no chance no matter what we do. Is it because they are better? Is that why they will win? Or…? They should by football, and football alone. So why not? It must taste different to win, and to win fairly.

I know what people felt about that that Chelsea game, what happened to Inter last year, and now I feel it with Madrid this year. It’s not hypocrisy, I am trying to be honest. It’s not a drama to me, I feel too sad and frustrated by what has happened. Tomorrow is another day. All that matters to me now is to go back home, where my wonderful family awaits me.

I’m sure they’re not bad people, so they must have this feeling in them; to know that win in this way has a bitter taste. We beat them last week in the Copa del Rey final. We know what it feels like to win properly, to celebrate with peace of mind, and this is why Real Madrid is a great team. Yes, I commented on Josep Guardiola’s words afterward freely, but the atmosphere was charged. And Guardiola in turn replied to me freely, with a little bit of politics. I believe that politics should not come into football. But today’s referee was something else!

I’ve won two Champions Leagues; one with Porto, the other with Inter. Both were won ON the field. We won both through had work, struggle and sweat. Guardiola is an exceptional manager, but if I was to win the Champions League the way that he won his, I would be embarrassed. And now, if he wins it this year, the win will be tainted by the scandal of the Bernabéu. I hope that maybe one year he will win a Champions League that will have been totally deserved. I thought that I could address him as ‘tu’… Well, now I see that I’m not allowed to. Okay then. I will call him ‘Señor Josep’. Well Señor Josep, I hope that one day you too will win a clean Champions League, not yet another one sullied by scandals.

This article originally appeared in Back Page Football

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20 April 2011

The word from Spain: Entre dos clásicos

Round one draws to an end. The Bernabéu faithful roared. José Mourinho, as is his wont, chides those journalists who walked on his assistant the day before the game. But now that the dust has settled, what have we learned? And what does all this mean as we approach the bells for the second round?

As ever, it’s all in the eye of the beholder. Real were on a high, and this was entirely understandable. They might have conceded the league, but few doubted they had any chance anyway. “It’s practically impossible now” said Alvaro Arbeloa after the game. As you were, then. “When will I get to take on this lot with eleven men” is the best summation of Mourinho’s sentiments.

But the gap had been bridged- 5 games, and three long years since they stuffed their Catalan rivals en route to a second successive title. A painful sequence of defeats; one by the odd goal, two by a brace, and two utter chasings, but almost all characterised by being out thought, out fought and outplayed all over the field. And to do it have played almost 40 minutes a man down, coming from behind made it taste all the sweeter. The possession statistics certainly told one story, but possession isn’t always everything; even, sometimes, for Barcelona.........................

Read the full article here on Back Page Football

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05 April 2011

La Liga – todo mal vuelve

When José Mourinho decided to pick a fight with Manolo Preciado back in September, who would have predicted that the gruff Sporting técnico would have the last laugh in deciding the destination of this year’s championship, destroying the longest undefeated home league managerial record in history in the process? Not many, is the answer; Joseph Sexton is back to tell us why La Liga really is done and dusted this this time.

 It had to happen. Nothing lasts forever. But what a ride it was. No other coach in the history of the sport could boast of such an achievement as that of of José Felix Mourinho; and it’s unlikely anyone else will. 150 home games. 0 defeats. From a 3-2 reversal exactly one month into his tenure at FC Porto on 23 February 2002, until Sporting Gijón rolled into the Bernabéu the day after April fool’s in 2011. 9 years, 1 months, and 10 days it took. And it was fitting that it was Manolo Preciado, the rugged, no-nonsense Sporting coach, who was in the opposite banquillo when the unthinkable occurred.

Read the full article here on Back Page Football