Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid: We deserve success – Jose Mourinho
Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid: Jose Mourinho says it is time "for football to do justice to these players" ahead of semi-final
Jose Mourinho is hoping Real Madrid’s luck in the Champions League is about to change ahead of his side’s semi-final showdown against Borussia Dortmund.
The Bundesliga side stand between Los Blancos and their first Champions League final appearance since 2002, with Mourinho’s men having been knocked out at the semi-final stage for the last two seasons running.
Much has been made of Madrid’s long search for la decima – a 10th European crown – and Mourinho is convinced that his side “deserve” success this year.
“I believe in the team because of the individual quality of the players, who are very good, and because of their collective quality, because of the way they play,” said Mourinho.
“This team wants it and deserves it. It’s time for football to do justice to these players, who haven’t won the Champions League as a team.
“They lost two semi-finals, one which is best forgotten [against Barcelona two years ago amid refereeing controversy] and another on penalties [against Bayern Munich last year] very harshly.
“Let’s see if football is fairer on my players.”
Mourinho believes Madrid have already made progress on a European front under his stewardship.
He continued: “When I arrived at Madrid, the club already had nine European cups and a rich history, but they weren’t even top seeds in the Champions League draws. They were 10th or 12th in the rankings.
“Right now we’re top seeds, third, we have improved a lot in that. And also in financial terms, we’ve helped a club that lives off its income to improve with the money that comes from the Champions League.
“But at this club, finishing second isn’t enough, getting to the semi-finals isn’t enough. We have to give our all to get to the final and, once there, win it.”
Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid: Pre-match facts
• Real Madrid ended Dortmund’s reign as European champions when the teams met in the 1997-98 semi-finals.
• Madrid have prevailed just once in 24 previous visits to face German opposition, losing 17 times.
• Dortmund’s home record against Liga clubs, including a draw with FC Barcelona in the 1998 Uefa Super Cup, is W5 D3 L2.
• Dortmund have the best defensive record of the sides left in the competition with nine goals conceded this season.
• Cristiano Ronaldo is the top scorer in this season’s competition after ten games with 11 goals. He has found the net 20 times in his last 17 Champions League appearances.
• Madrid have had more goal-bound shots (119) than any other team.