Real Madrid v Bayern Munich: We are in a marathon, says Mourinho
Jose Mourinho urges Real Madrid to cast their La Liga success to one side and focus on beating Bayern Munich on Wednesday night
Jose Mourinho has urged Real Madrid not to get carried away by their recent domestic success and focus on beating Bayern Munich in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final at the Bernabeu on Wednesday night.
Goals from Franck Ribery and Mario Gómez helped Bayern to a 2-1 first leg win at the Allianz Arena last week after Mesut Özil had equalised for the La Liga outfit.
Madrid are fresh from victory at the Camp Nou on Saturday, and following Barça’s exit on Tuesday, can set up a Champions League final against Mourinho’s former club Chelsea.
But the 49-year-old has warned his squad that more work is to be done if Madrid want to emulate Barça’s recent achievements, starting with getting past Bayern.
“The match against Barcelona will mean nothing if we don’t win the championship,” said Mourinho.
“This is a marathon. We are going to try to reach the final, these players deserve it.
“Bayern are a great team, the coach is good and they have the right to think they are going to play the final. They have the strength of a team.”
He added: “I see my players excited about this semi-final like my Inter players were two years ago before the semi-final against Barcelona.
“It’s not about their age, it’s about the Champions League. They just want to win it. These years in Madrid are a rich experience and it is making me a better coach.
“I have been working in different countries with different mentalities, different players. We can win two titles, one or none.
“It’s this excitement of football that turns my hair grey.”
Pre-match facts: Real Madrid v Bayern Munich
• Jose Mourinho engineered Bayern’s downfall with Internazionale in that 2010 final and is now aiming to deny them a place in this season’s showpiece at the Bavarian club’s home stadium on 19 May.
• The sides have met in four European Cup semi-finals with Bayern prevailing three times (1976, 1987, 2001) to Madrid’s one (2000) – Iker Casillas is the only survivor of the two most recent semi-finals.
• Madrid have won ten of their last 11 home games in the competition, scoring 22 goals in five outings this season.
• Bayern have a 7-6 win-loss record in two-legged contests with Spanish clubs in Uefa competition, while Madrid’s record against German sides is 10-7.