By Dominic Vieira, reporting from Portugal
José Mourinho was finally presented today as the manager of Real Madrid. The Portuguese tactical genius joined the world’s most aristocratic and popular club, but demanded a less “Galactic” presentation. Real granted his simple wish.
Mourinho signed a 4 year deal worth €10m a year. This ceremony was followed by a press conference in front of 200 journalists at the Bernabeu. The New Madrid manager spoke in 4 languages: Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and English.
I followed the press conference live and translated it, the responses and questions are not in the exact order. Many of the questions were similar or on the same subject, so both answers are under a certain question. I tried to keep the translation as close as possible to the José Mourinho style.
After apologizing about his Spanish and promising it will be good in a month, Mourinho started:
"I don’t know if I was born to coach Real Madrid, but I was born to coach football and I like big challenges. I am attracted to Madrid because of its history, its recent frustrations and the high expectation to win."
"It’s a unique club and it’s for any important player and manager, not representing Real Madrid is a hole in anyone’s career. It is beautiful to play or coach for Madrid and even more beautiful to win here. By luck and merit I have enjoyed a great career and it is an honour to be here.”
“One thing I like to think is that beautiful, beautiful, beautiful is not playing, it is winning with Real Madrid. That is my motivation.”
How will you make Madrid a winning team?
"Firstly I will be making lots of questions, talking less and understanding my new club. At this stage diagnosing will be more important than making decisions. I will work with the club; adapt some things to my way and give top confidence to people who are here. There will be no radical transformations, just small adaptations."
"José Mourinho adapts his philosophy and players, they are the most important to me. Getting the best out of the players and for my luck, I haven’t had many players who haven’t improved and played at their best. Normally, after they work with me they become better players. A team has to be balanced. A balance to me is playing well with or without the ball, playing well defensively or offensively. They have to be psychologically strong, winning games and winning the decisive games. Psychological strength is improtant in modern football. It’s impossible to win important matches without it.”
What are your main objectives for next season?
"My objectives aren’t different from the ones I had at other clubs; I want to build the present and the future. My way of working and pressure we put on ourselves doesn’t demand a lot of time to reach objectives. I like that pressure. I don’t like the pressure that I need 3 or 4 years to reach something. The second year of work is key. It is where we find the balance and growth of the team. It was at the second year with Porto and Inter that we were European champions. At Chelsea we reached 2 consecutive semi-finals. Always in the first year we won the title.”
"We don’t need much time to build a team that has identity. But a team with a future takes more time. I think we can win in the first season. Even though it won’t be easy to win.”
"Is winning in the first season a promise? No, no. The promise is that I am José Mourinho who works hard, dedicates and works to the limit. I have a strong relationship with everyone. I won’t change the way I am."
Do you think you will get sacked if you don’t win?
“I think all managers must be prepared to get sacked. But if a manager feels fear, he won’t work well and if he doesn’t work well he will endure big problems. I have high self-esteem, confidence and I don’t think about getting sacked. I think 4 years are enough to win and create a team with identity and prepare a future for Real Madrid. I am not happy the way Pellgerini got sacked, but football is football. I arrive here with confidence and I’m very confident in my players. I would like to thank everyone that thinks I am the ideal manager for the project and I promise I won’t change. I am José Mourinho and the Mourinho that arrive here is the Mourinho with all the defects and qualities.”
How is your relationship with Ronaldo?
"Cristiano is an incredibly important player not just for Real but for football. But the strength of my team is the team itself, not the individual. My players understand the most important thing is the club, not the manager or the player. We are too small in comparison to the dimension of the club. We work as a group; otherwise it is difficult to get results. Ronaldo is a winner, he likes to win, and it’s not difficult to persuade him that the most important thing is the team. “
What about your relationship with Raul? Is he going to stay?
"I spoke to him this morning. I didn’t waste time. My conversation with Raul, is between José Mourinho and Raul; the press aren’t welcome. I haven’t done anything for Madrid, I am not in the history. Whereas Raul is in the history of Real, and who is not in the history has to respect those who are. I will be very honest with Raul and can’t treat him like any other player.”
Will you adopt your defensive system at Madrid?
"I’ve been in 3 European finals and won 3. In 3 finals, we’ve scored 8 goals. 8 goals in 3 European finals. Not in cup finals against 3rd division clubs. 3 finals, 8 goals."
“When you repeat a lie many times, for the intelligent people that lie is always a lie. But for non-intelligent, that lie becomes the truth. By luck, in football, there are more intelligent people. For that reason, I train teams like Chelsea, Porto, Inter and Real. Where luckily there is an intelligent president and directors. One thing is an organized team and another is defensive football. When a team is organized it can play with many offensive players and will defend well. At Inter we played with 5 offensive players (Motta, Milito, Eto’o, Sneijder and Pandev) and defended well. Why? Because they had a great manager.”
Will you be signing many players such as Maicon, Milito, Di Maria who have all been linked to Real?
"We don’t talk about signing new a player. I am happy with last season’s team. We don’t need to make huge dramatic transfers. We need 3 or 4 players to have a strong team, which has options and can adapt to my style. It won’t be a summer with large transfers; it will be a relaxing one. You guys should be writing about South Africa."
How does it feel to be Barcelona’s most hated manager?
I am not anti-Barcelonista. I am the Real Madrid manager, I’m not worried about Barcelona, I only focus on my team. They are a great rival in the Champions League and domestic competitions. But I don’t speak or think about Barcelona at the moment. If I am hated, not my problem, problem for the people who hate me. I prepare the games against Barcelona like I did at Inter and Chelsea, I will do the same with Real. They are great rival, but fear is not a word I relate myself with. I don’t want fear in my changing room. I respect Barcelona like I respect all the opponents. Fear is not a word in my football dictionary.”
Many say you are a provoker?
"I am not a provoker. I am a worker. I work a lot and a lot, and as I work a lot, and those around me work a lot, we want respect. If we have respect, perfect. If we don’t have respect I will defend my group. I am not a provoker.”
Did you suggest a manager to Moratti?
“I haven’t talked with Moratti about the manager for next year. But they have a team for the future. They are a team which has been built to continue winning. Inter has everything. They need a quality manager because they are European champions. The manager is lucky because I have offered him three titles: Super Coppa, European Super Cup and the Intercontinental Cup.”
"I hope Inter win everything next year except the Champions League."
Do you consider yourself the best in the world?
"No. There is a group of managers who have quality and luck which are the best. I am in that group. It’s the results who decide who is the best. But as I am not a fake humble man, I think I will win all the best manager awards this year because of my results with Inter.”
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