• Champions League

Mourinho: Comments after Utd win misunderstood

ESPN staff
March 19, 2013
Mourinho refuses to rule out a return to Inter Milan

Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho has said comments he made after his side's Champions League win over Manchester United have been misinterpreted.

After Madrid had come from a goal down to win 2-1 and progress to the quarter-finals, the Portuguese said: "The best team lost."

Some in Spain interpreted that as a criticism of his players, while many in the UK saw it as a sign that he might have an eye on taking over at United when Sir Alex Ferguson retires.

But Mourinho said his only intention had been to mentally prepare his players to go on and win the competition. He told Real Madrid TV: "Many people did not expect [Madrid to win] and they ended up frustrated, but we achieved our goals well.

"In Manchester, it was hard - and as always, or almost always, there are people who think they know more about my work than I do.

"There are people who think they can analyse me, get into my head and understand all I do, but they do not know my intention with my comments after the game."

Mourinho said he had wanted to make sure his players remembered that plenty of hard work remained if they were to be crowned Champions League winners.

"What interested me in that moment was that my team felt they had a lot in front of them, that we had achieved nothing yet," he said.

"My players told me at the end of the game that it was not easy, and I know that. Everyone knows about 'Fergie Time', the last five or ten minutes of a Manchester United game at Old Trafford, where throughout Ferguson's time his players have achieved historic comebacks based on emotion and empathy with the fans.

"So it was not easy. It was a great victory, but Real Madrid can never be happy to reach the quarter-finals. We must always think of going for more."

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