Friday, 21 May 2010

Mourinho hopes for tears of joy

Inter coach Jose Mourinho cried after knocking his former club Chelsea out of the UEFA Champions League earlier this season but the Portuguese hopes to see his club boss Massimo Moratti shed tears of joy with a first European Cup success in 45 years on Saturday.

Mourinho was tearful after eliminating the English Premier League champions following a 1-0 win in the last 16 in London back in March, realising he had ruined the dream of many of his close friends.

"At Stamford Bridge I cried because during the 90 minutes I wasn't thinking that I was playing against friends, but after the game I realised that my friends were out of the competition," he reflected ahead of the Champions League final against Bayern Munich.

"But that was crucial for Inter, without that victory we wouldn't be here today - it was a difficult emotional situation," he added.

Victory over Bayern at the Santiago Bernabeu is likely to produce tears of a different kind, however, and Mourinho would be proud to see the Inter President turn on the waterworks after a 45-year European Cup drought.

"Defeat or victory, it will be unforgettable, but President Moratti is a very special person for me. I thank him for bringing me to Inter two years ago.

"I hope to see him smiling with the trophy tomorrow, crying with joy. I would like to see his photo with the trophy alongside the one of his father in Appiano Gentile... I would love to give my little contribution to help make that happen."

Inter's current President is son of former club owner Angelo Moratti, who led the Nerazzurri to back-to-back European Cup titles in 1964 and 1965.

Success was hard to come by initially under Moratti jnr, but recent times have been more prosperous, especially this season.

Mourinho's "little contribution" has already seen the Milanese outfit capture the Serie A title and the Coppa Italia this season, but the Portuguese coach knows tomorrow's final is the big one.

"45 years is 45 years - it's a long time," he said. "Many of Inter's fans cannot remember that far back and many were not even born when the club last won the European Cup.

"The Champions League final is always important and you want to win it even if you won it last year, but I imagine that for these fans it will be even more special after such a long wait," he added.

The former Porto coach says he is focused purely on European glory and is not distracted by speculation linking him to the Real Madrid bench.

"Whoever plays the final of the Champions League can't think about anything else," he said.

"When I won with Porto in 2004 I knew before that I would leave for Chelsea, but right now I can't say... I don't know Real Madrid.

"I'm thinking about a dream, not an obsession. I want my team to play for a dream, not an obsession. Then after the game everyone can move on with their lives, not just me.

"Some will go to the World Cup, some will go on vacation to the seaside, some will go to the mountains, some will stay and some will go. But on Saturday when the game ends I won't be able to say it's my last game with Inter."

And even though the 47-year-old has had a bumpy ride in his time in Italian football so far, he claims nothing would give him greater pleasure than winning a Champions League title for Inter.

"It's a special club with a special President and special fans, and I want to be part of that," he said.

But the 'Special One' was his usual colourful self in the pre-match press conference and he reserved a wicked taunt for Bayern, who have already celebrated two domestic titles of their own.

"Bayern had the party and the bus (celebration)," he said. "We haven't had a party or a bus."

Bayern go into Saturday's game as underdogs with coach Louis van Gaal admitting that there were better teams in this year's competition than the German Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal winners.

"I think that Chelsea, Manchester United and Barcelona are the better teams of Europe. Nevertheless, we can win the title," said Van Gaal.

"We have shown our level and of course we were also a little bit lucky that time when we played against Manchester United, but it was deserved I believe.

"It's always possible that the lower level club wins, that's sport.

"I think Inter are a very difficult opponent and I think their matches against Chelsea and Barcelona have proved that.

"I think my philosophy is always to attack. I think Mourinho is more defensive tactically but he has good players who can decide the outcome of a match."

Source: Various

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