1. it's really interesting (not only for RM fans)
2. it contains some respectful diplomatic positive opinions about Barca players coming from RM coach (good antidote for some wank/wankness/wankery?.../ here)
3. it gives us great material to some discussion about lololol, nature of football (if anyone wants discussion)
...so maybe few of you _fb folks would like to read it. It's quite good pre-classico text too imho.
Also it's my first post in any lj comm so please be gentle (if it's irrelevant and badly done and tags are inappropriate. I was choosing them long and carefully. them tags).
FIFA.com: Jose, how would you define your coaching style? Is the high esteem your former charges hold you in the best calling card you could wish for?
Jose Mourinho: The players miss me and I miss them. I’ve left behind some true friends at my former clubs and that’s something which transcends the game of football. Missing someone and caring about them is normal amongst friends, just as it’s only natural to hope things go well for your former charges, people who you’ve shared a dressing room with and experienced matches together.
Does it bother you when you’re negatively portrayed in certain sections of the media?
Only those who work with me know who I am, while only my friends and my family know me well. Has anybody who knows me ever said any of these things which I’m so freely accused of?
When you were appointed Real coach you said you’d need time to bring your project to fruition, but early results have been impressive. Are you ahead of schedule?
Real Madrid are playing well, I’d even go so far as saying very well in certain games. But my team aren’t the finished product yet, we’ve still got a lot of ground to cover. You can’t build a team overnight as if by magic. We have to work hard day in, day out, while staying humble, professional and enthusiasm. That said, I’m very happy with our performances and the results so far.
Does that mean you won’t be seeking new signings in the January transfer window?
Yes, our big signing in the winter window will be Kaka - he’ll be a fantastic boost for us. How many clubs can sign a ‘Kaka’ in January? There are no players of his calibre on the market.
What role will Zinedine Zidane have now he has returned to the club?
A genius like Zidane needs to stay involved in football and work for Real Madrid. That’s why I suggested to President Florentino Perez that we needed to re-sign him. Now we’re just looking into which role would suit him best and make the most of the footballing knowledge he has. I want him working closely with me and the squad, rekindling the leadership role he had as a player.
Talking of the playing staff at the Bernabeu, who has caught your eye most since you arrived?
I’d most like to highlight the performance of the team as a whole, particularly those players who aren’t such big names. Then you have the charisma of Iker Casillas and the quality of the metronome Xabi Alonso. He’s a player in the Xavi mould and a man who I’m sure could be a great coach once he hangs up his boots, should he so desire. He reminds me of Pep Guardiola during his playing days, when he was like a coach out on the pitch.
[HERE HE TALKS ABOUT REAL MADRID PLAYERS. NOT EXCEPTIONALLY INTERESTING IF YOU'RE NOT A FAN OF ONE OR ALL OF THEM]
Is there anybody else you’d like to mention?
Well, first of all I’d like to single out [Angel] Di Maria. The Argentina international is very young and joined us from Benfica, who are in a much weaker league, but to be honest he’s adapted perfectly. Angel is the nicest surprise I’ve had since arriving, as well as the professionalism and work ethic of players like [Raul] Albiol, [Alvaro] Arbeloa and [Esteban] Granero. All those players work very hard every day to earn a starting place or to play a part coming off the bench, so I can see why Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has faith in them. They’re great pros, the type of men that make a team.
And how would you say Karim Benzema is doing?
Karim has to understand that he’s not playing by himself, that he has to be more of a team player and work really hard, especially in training. He’s doing just that and I’m pleased to see how his attitude has changed. He’s starting to get the level of involvement that he deserves. I expect a lot from him, I want him to be as good as or better than the player I first saw at Lyon. I know how gifted he is and that’s why I push him.
Given Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira’s relative lack of big-club experience, are you satisfied with how they’ve performed?
They’ve got a fantastic attitude, they’re hard workers and they’re always willing to learn. What’s more, they’re two great lads and working with them would be a pleasure for any coach. I haven’t forgotten Joachim Low’s part in their rapid rise to prominence, as he was brave enough to play them at a World Cup despite their youth and inexperience. They should also be grateful to the coaches they had at Werder Bremen and Stuttgart [respectively].
Can Cristiano Ronaldo repeat the form he showed at Manchester United now you’re at the helm?
Cristiano is one of the two best players in the world. That’s indisputable. Some days he’s better than Leo Messi and other days it’s the Argentinian’s turn, but the two of them are a class above. There are too many things being said about him (Ronaldo) that just aren’t true. He’s a great pro who lives and breathes the game so as to perform the best he possibly can.
[HERE ABOUT COACHING AND DIFFERENT LEAGUES. INTERESTING IMHO]
Squad rotation is very common among head coaches nowadays, but you seem to be an exception to the rule…
A player who works hard and acts like a true professional in his social life can play in every game. I’m convinced of that and can cite a lot of examples from all the teams I’ve coached, such as Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba at Chelsea, or Javier Zanetti and Diego Milito at Inter. Players don’t need to be rotated so long as they’re careful and stay in good shape.
How do you manage to instill teamwork in a squad packed with great individual talents?
It’s very easy to understand: players win games, but teams win trophies.
You have been accused of not giving a high enough priority to players from Real Madrid’s youth system. Is that a fair criticism?
I don’t know any coaches who don’t enjoy giving debuts to young players. Making John Obi Mikel and Lassana Diarra champions of England at the age of 18, giving Carlos Alberto the chance to become the youngest player ever to score in a Champions League final, giving Davide Santon his debut at just over 18 or doing the same for Juan Carlos at Real Madrid, all of which proves that I like to give young players a chance. Every coach wants to bring youth-team players through, but before that can happen you need the youth ranks to work well, you need them to be effective and to supply talented youngsters on a regular basis.
While some coaches stick with their favoured approach come what may, you’ve stated your preference for adapting to the idiosyncrasies of the clubs you join. Is that really how you see things?
Every coach has his own way of working, which is equally worthy of respect. Personally, I like to take into account the footballing idiosyncrasies of the club and country where I’m working. Football culture is very different in England, Italy and Spain, for example. If you want to succeed in different leagues, you have to adopt the cultural characteristics of the league you’re playing in. That way of thinking helped me win titles in Portugal and in my very first seasons in England and Italy. You have to know your opponents and their characteristics well. And how could I not take into account the traditions and pedigree of a team like Real Madrid, who have won the European Cup more times than any other club.
In your opinion, which championship is the best: the Premier League, Serie A or La Liga?
I’d take the excitement and intensity of the Premier League, the technical quality of La Liga and the tactical battles of Italian football. That’s why I always say that I’m a coach who’s enjoyed a wealth of experiences and who has had to grow and develop in many ways.
You worked with both Sir Bobby Robson and Louis van Gaal at Barcelona. How did you earn the respect of the current Bayern Munich coach?
Through my personality and footballing expertise. I worked really hard and was totally devoted to my boss, growing and improving every day to match the demands he made of me. I stuck by him, particularly during the tough times, and I was always straight with him and said what I was thinking - even if it wasn’t what he wanted to hear. Louis appreciated that. One day after I’d disagreed with him in a meeting, he said in front of the rest of the assistant coaches that 'Jose is the only one who tells me what he thinks and not what I want to hear'. We’re very good friends nowadays, and it was really hard for me to see how sad he was after the Champions League final [this year]. Van Gaal is a great man and a great coach.
Are you still keen on a return to the Premier League once your Real Madrid contract expires?
I want to go back to the Premier League, no doubt about it, but I’m not in any hurry. Real Madrid are a fascinating club and I really enjoy working here. That’s why I’m just focusing on doing a good job at Madrid, I want to make history here like I did with Porto, Chelsea and Inter. My goal is always to make the fans of my club happy and to improve my players’ self-worth. And I don’t want things to go any differently at Real Madrid.
Why do you think it was so hard for people to understand your desire to coach your native Portugal, when they were going through a difficult period?
I’m pleased because Portugal won those two games and their chances of qualifying for EURO 2012 are back on track. I knew that I’d be able to help, that my presence would bring the excitement and motivation they needed. And when you’ve lived abroad for as many years as I have, you become totally patriotic. I love Portugal even more now than I did before and I just wanted to help out. But anyway, it wasn’t necessary in the end and so I’m doubly pleased, for my country and for myself.
[HERE ABOUT CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, VARIOUS CLUBS AND PLAYERS]
Do you think your Real Madrid side are in with a chance of reaching the UEFA Champions League final at Wembley?
Jose Mourinho: Yes, but we could get knocked out before that point too. If experience has taught me anything it’s that the Champions League is very difficult, very tough and a competition where every mistake is punished. This year we’ll be aiming to go beyond the Round of 16, a stage which Real Madrid have failed to get past since 2004.
Which rival teams do you think offer the biggest threat on the road to London?
The usual ones: the English sides led by Chelsea and Manchester United, Inter [Milan], Bayern [Munich], Barça... It’s a fearsome competition, it’s really tough. It’s very hard for a team to overcome the odds like we did with Porto in 2004, when we reached the final against another surprise team in Monaco.
You recently returned to the San Siro with Madrid to take on AC Milan. How did it feel to go back there?
It’ll always be special to go to the San Siro, it's just like going to Stamford Bridge where I spent some good years with Chelsea. When I went back there it felt like I was still Chelsea coach, because of the fans, the dressing rooms, the players, the owner, everything... That affection is the nicest part of football, when you can go to a match with the opposing team and still feel at home. It’ll be a special feeling the day I have to go back to the San Siro to take on Inter and it’s packed with Interistas. They already showed they’re still loyal to me when Real Madrid played Milan and they cheered me throughout.
Did you expect Milan to be a tougher proposition?
Milan have got some of the best forwards in European football, but Real Madrid dominated both games (in Group G of this season’s Champions League). We had more possession, we dictated the tempo and we took the initiative. We put in two very complete performances. Last year Real Madrid only took one point from Milan but this season we got four. We’re improving, but my players still need to grow and learn how to handle the mental side of Champions League games.
Why do you think Zlatan Ibrahimovic didn’t succeed at Barcelona? Did you really want to sign him for Real Madrid?
I don’t know why (he didn’t succeed), it’s none of my business. All I can say is that under me at Inter he finished top scorer in Serie A, he hit 25 goals and I never had any serious problems with him. I’ve got a lot of respect and affection for him and I think he also holds me in high regard. I would have liked to bring him to Real Madrid but it was impossible. After what happened with Luis Figo I think it’ll be centuries before another Barça player joins Madrid or vice versa.
Samuel Eto’o has only good things to say about you. The two of you got along particularly well, but was he among the best forwards you’ve ever coached? And what about Didier Drogba?
Mamma mia, what fantastic players! It was a tremendous pleasure to be able to coach those two goalscoring ‘monsters’, two players with unrivalled killer instinct. They’re two men with an unbreakable spirit and a will to win you’d struggle to find in any other player.
[HERE ABOUT EL CLASICO, PEP & BARCA]
This season’s first clásico against Barcelona is fast approaching. Are your team in a position to go toe-to-toe with them and finish ahead of them in La Liga?
Barça are a great side, a team with a shared group philosophy that goes back years. They’ve got players who’ve spent their whole lives together such as [Andres] Iniesta, Xavi and [Lionel] Messi. Taking them on isn’t easy but we’re working hard to try and be just as strong as they are and overcome them in order to win titles. It’s easier to do in cup competitions. I’ve already beaten them with both Inter and Chelsea.
Can you expand on that notion of a shared group philosophy?
Pep has a settled side, a solid project in place. Their footballing philosophy has been evolving since [Johan] Cruyff (was in charge); it continued under [Louis] Van Gaal and [Frank] Rijkaard and Pep Guardiola has even managed to improve on it. Real Madrid’s playing style, on the other hand, hasn’t been defined yet. Madrid have gone from [Fabio] Capello to [Manuel] Pellegrini , via [Bernd] Schuster and Juande Ramos, and that just won’t work . A club like Real needs to be organised with a fixed playing style from top to bottom, and have a football philosophy all of their own. That’s what we’ve been working on since I arrived.
Has el clásico come too soon for you and your players?
Any player and any coach would like to be involved in a clásico of this magnitude. Barça versus Real Madrid is special; the eyes of the whole world are on this clash. I’d happily play the match tomorrow, it’s always fantastic.
If you were president of a club, would you try and sign Pep Guardiola as head coach?
If I were Barça president Sandro Roselli I’d give him a contract for the next 50 years.
Because he’s a club man who’s been steeped in Barcelonismo since birth. He’s Culé, he knows the place inside out and he knows the kind of football that Barcelona fans want. He’s the ideal man to coach Barcelona for as long as he wants to.
Would he be also your choice if you were Madrid president?
Yes he would, Pep is a great coach. I first said he’d end up being an excellent head coach years ago. Go and look it up and you’ll see that I said that 20 years ago.
How is your relationship with him?
We used to work together at Barça and I have only positive memories of that period. Now we’re rival coaches but I get the feeling that we respect each other. In my view that’s a good thing, and it’d be perfect if it stayed that way.
Have you been surprised by how successful he’s been in the Barcelona dugout?
No, not at all. When Pep was a Barça player and I was an assistant coach, you could already see that he’d end up coaching. He was already the coach’s right - hand man out on the pitch; he liked to take charge and he’d think about the other players’ roles, (not just his own). I knew that when he was ready he’d become an excellent coach.
Have you made up with Xavi Hernandez, who along with Carles Puyol is one of the Barcelona players you used to get on well with?
I’ve never been at war with Xavi and we still get on very well. Sometimes during games things are said in the heat of the moment which are later forgotten once you’ve calmed down. I still think that Xavi is a superstar, a truly great player, and I’ve never denied that. I’m also still in touch with ‘Puyi’.
What kind of reception do you expect to receive at the Camp Nou in el clásico? Will it be more hostile than the one the Milan supporters gave you at San Siro?
The fans in the Camp Nou will never forgive me for denying them the opportunity to win the Champions League at the Santiago Bernabeu. I’m a persona non grata as far as Barcelonistas are concerned, so I’ll get a hostile reception. But I’m going there to play a football match and that’s that. It’s like I always say: if we win on Monday then it’ll be Tuesday the next day. And if we lose on Monday then it’ll still be Tuesday the next day. That’s why we have to keep working hard and enjoying ourselves just the same, whatever happens.
One final question, why is it that you always highlight how important the time you spent working at Barça was to you, yet you’ve been ‘Public Enemy No1’ with the club’s fans for years now?
That’s just football. I beat them with Chelsea, then with Inter and now I’m coaching their fiercest rivals, Real Madrid. That’s too many things in quick succession. The past doesn’t matter, it’s what’s happened recently that counts. That’s the way football works.
sauce 1, 2
...and a lulzy pic relevant to recent incident :PPP
found here (hope the creator doesn't mind sharing)