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José Mourinho at El Larguero

June 3, 2011
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José Mourinho finally broke his silence by speaking to the press – radio program “El Larguero” – last night, and he did it for one reason only: “because they told me that there was an audience full of children and students.”  Some of those were Madrid’s very own alevín players, and they got to ask him questions at the very end of the interview.  So, we get to know what Mou’s thoughts on the season, his sanction, various players and Chendo’s return (my favorite Q&A) are.

Do you go to sleep early?

Yes.  Now that I don’t have training sessions, I wake up at 07:30h, I have breakfast with my wife and my kids before they go to school, and then I go to the stadium.  Before, I went to Valdebebas.

What do you do there?

I have meetings with the people that work with me.  Sometimes it’s with the president and José Ángel Sánchez, other times it’s with people that work in my structure, with my assistants, with the doctors… It’s necessary to leave things organized to begin working on July 11.  I like to go off on vacation without any preoccupations.

Was it a good season?

Yes.  I like to work.  It’s been a year with a lot of work.  I enjoy football.  My family has adapted bit by bit and they’re happy.  I’m not tired and that’s the most important thing, because it means that everything has been easy.  I say “easy” in quotation marks.  Fifteen days is more than sufficient to return with even more strength.

Were you under a lot of pressure this last month?

No, the pressure isn’t the problem.  Football has never been a source of pressure for me, it’s been a source of pleasure.  Winning or losing has never been a problem.  Perhaps speaking of pressures means speaking of injustices, and in that I do feel pressured.  But football in its purest state is not a source of pressure.

You now have all the power in the club…

I don’t have more power than before.  Madrid sought a different model of organization.  A good structure doesn’t guarantee success, but a bad structure or an outdated one guarantees failure.  And we’re looking for success.  I don’t have more or less power than before.  I never looked for power, I’ve looked for functional empathy and cooperation in work.

The president already explained it.

He explained it, but analytically.  There will be an organization in which all the functions are well-structured.  It’s a structure of cooperation, not of a centralization of power.  I will be only the coach and nothing more.

Do you watch Valdano and Florentino’s press conferences?

I didn’t watch them live.  The president said what he could.  He’ll give more explanations when everything is organized.  And the words of a person who has just left the club can’t be very different.  It was a sad moment for Valdano and for everyone, and I’m not being hypocritical, because if there’s anything I’m not, it’s hypocritical.  I’m not happy about his departure.  If I’m happy about anything, it’s with the new organization of the club.

Valdano asked to meet with you but that didn’t happen.

I don’t want to go there.  There’s no going backwards in life, it’s a one-way street.  The decisions have been thought out and discussed.  Life continues for me and for Valdano.  I wish him the best.

Some fans supported you and others criticized you…

I’m not anyone to criticize anyone who thinks differently.  I am how I am.  I work very hard to bring joy to the fans.  They’re the most important persons in the institution and that’s why we work.  And if I have to damage our image to do that, I will do it.

Are you worried that the referees will take a disliking to you?

Football is a sport and it should be a just world.  There’s no time to look at what is nice, or what isn’t.  It should be pure.

And your thoughts on UEFA’s sanction?

It’s the only time where someone is sanctioned without knowing why.  More than one month has passed.  You don’t have the right to know why, you don’t have the right to defend yourself, you don’t have the right to argue… and as a person, I believe I have the right to defend myself.  That’s why I’m going to the TAS and I will fight to the end.  I’ve already completed one game of sanction and I will complete the other four with all the negative aspects that it means for my team and myself.  But I will appeal because I want the truth and I have the right to defend myself.  If that’s not sufficient, I have twice won the European Cup, I have titles in four countries, I’m the first coach to win the Golden Ball and I have the right to defend myself.

Have you changed your opinion about Barça?

No.  I was there between 1997 and 2000.  From 200o to 2011, everything changed, the persons and the institutions.  It’s a different club.  I never said that I wouldn’t have liked to work in that time.  I don’t have anything against the institution.

What do you think about Guardiola?

I knew him as a player.  Ten years have passed.  Right now he’s the leader of his team, it’s different, I don’t know him.  I knew a different Guardiola as a player, and he knew me as a different person.  I thought he would be like this in the future, without knowing his desires or his motivations.

What did you think when he called you “el puto amo?”

Nothing, he can say what he wants.

Why did you stop speaking to the press?

I decided to do that because I was sanctioned, and that’s still the case.  If I’m here, it’s for the children.

Is Madrid as you had imagined?

It was an experience which I wanted to live.  After working in my country and changing it for English and Italian football, I wanted an experience in Spain, especially in Madrid because everyone in football believes it’s a goal.  I had the opportunity several years ago, but I didn’t take it.  I made the decision to come here and I don’t regret it.  I’m happy I made this decision.

Is there a lot of difference between Barça and Madrid?

I don’t want to make a comparison, I only want to talk about my team.  The team has grown and gotten better.  I’m preparing the training sessions for the pre-season and they’re different than those of last year.  There are evolutions and progressions, and there are things that are automatic now, so they don’t need to be practiced.  Our reference is ourselves.

Thoughts on Sahin?

Sahin was chosen as the best player in the Bundesliga by the professionals there.  We’ve followed him for a while now and he’s another niño, like Özil, Di María, Marcelo, Benzema.  It makes us think that we’ll have a great team in 2014 or 2015.  Madrid has a super young team and a president with fantastic business vision.  They can create a new era in European football.

Are Higuaín and Benzema non-transferable?

Yes.

You won’t allow either one to leave?

It’s not about whether I allow anyone or not.  If the club wants to do something, I’m no one.  We all agree about Higuaín and Benzema.  We want to keep them.

Did you ask for Mateos and Callejón, or will they be used to get other players?

We like Callejón, for his characteristics and mentality.  He will remain with the team, he won’t be part of any operation.  We want to help him reach his potential.  Mateos is under contract.  He’ll begin the pre-season with us and after that we’ll see if he stays or if he’s loaned out for one more year.  But this time it will be to a team in the first division or a team playing in Europe.

And Adebayor?

He’s a City player and he has a buyout clause.  We’re in a privileged bargaining position and the player wants to stay.  It’s important.

Your gray hairs are becoming more noticeable…

It’s genetic.  My grandfather had white hair by the time he was 40 and my father as well.  Football doesn’t give me white hair.

Then it was time for the alevines to ask questions – they’re all about 10-12 years old, so they’re all pretty adorable and ask things that no one else would dare to do.

What characteristics does a canterano need to have in order to make it to the first team?

This year, 11 or 12 have debuted.  The common characteristic is a great desire to do so.  I wanted to reward this behavior by letting them train with us, travel with us even if they’re not going to play and to feel their passion.  For me, this mentality is very important.

Why do all the players say nice things about you?

Almost all of them (laughs).  I think it’s due to the creation of empathy, knowing that there is a person who wants to help you, who thinks about your future, who is honest, who treats you with the same affection and aggressiveness as he treats everyone else.  I’m like an older brother, a second father, a friend.

What did you think about Chendo’s return to football? (This question was asked by Chendo’s son.  He’s on the right in the picture above).

It was your doing.  Your father commented that, out of the three of you (the three siblings), you’re the only one who hasn’t seen him play.  I asked him, “is Eduardo at home watching the game?”  And he told me, “I believe so.”  “Well, then he’ll see you play today, don’t mess up.”

Do you believe Barça won the Champions fairly?

They won the final justly, with a lot of class and tranquility, but they didn’t win the quarterfinals and semifinals well.  But in the final, my hat goes off to them, they deserve it.  The best team won the final.

Will you be here two years from now?

If the president, the directors, the players and the fans are happy, yes.

Do you believe Kaká can recover his form?

Kaká hasn’t had a pre-season in four years.  Our conviction and hope is that he can make a difference.  His talent is incredible.

How about Pedro León and Canales?

We spoke with Canales today.  A very important meeting for all of us.  Sergio, his father and his agent were there, and on the other side, Zidane, José Ángel and I.  The five of us want the best for Sergio and for Madrid.  He will be a Madrid player.  Tomorrow, we’ll meet with Pedro León and discuss the best solution for him.  We have four players – Di María, Cristiano, Altintop and Callejón – for the wing.  The best solution is to loan him out.

Is Zidane going to work very closely with you?

Yes.  Valdebebas is a space for specific work.  Having people like Zidane or Pardeza at this level is positive.

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19 Comments leave one →
  1. Happy permalink
    June 3, 2011 18:37

    Thanks, Una, such a long interview, I have to spend time on it!!!!
    So the next will be Zidane?? I know he has a new book, once again, thanks for bringing us so much news!!!

  2. Sarah, Madrid permalink
    June 3, 2011 18:45

    I love his answer about Barcelona, it is really something I would say :P. Overall classic Jose interview :).

  3. manie permalink
    June 3, 2011 19:14

    I think I like the kids questions more than el larguero’s…the Chendo question was super cute, and that’s interesting about canales. I wonder if saying he’ll be a “madrid player” still leaves room for a loan, because I would like to see him play more minutes.

  4. Radhika permalink
    June 3, 2011 19:34

    These kids are so soooo cute ! They ask all the right questions . It’s better if they were the journalists interviewing Managers and players after games , at least we would get honest answers 🙂 !

  5. June 3, 2011 19:40

    “…he’s another niño, like Özil, Di María, Marcelo, Benzema” – This line made me grin so much!!

    “Are Higuaín and Benzema non-transferable? Yes.” —— WOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! I am so happy to read this!!

    I also love the Q’s the kids asked. I hope that Mou is with us in two years time. *crosses her fingers*

  6. superfan permalink
    June 3, 2011 20:00

    How long has it been since Mou spoke to the press? This is so refreshing! Haha.

    I agree with what he said about Barca’s win in the CL. That is so true. And it’s good to know that Benz and Pipita are staying. That’ll end those endless transfer rumors about the two.

    Chendo’s son is so cute for asking that!! 😀

    Thanks for translating, Una.

  7. Jenny permalink
    June 3, 2011 20:13

    I love his interviews, always.

    He never lies, which makes him an interesting subject.

  8. June 3, 2011 20:56

    Awwwwh, Mourinho and kids :’D

  9. mar permalink
    June 3, 2011 20:59

    oh, the kids questions were the best! they could make really good reporters

  10. amouria permalink
    June 3, 2011 23:54

    My adorable Mou. I don’t know why some people think negative about him? But this is life, all successful (especially good looking me) are envied by others.
    Me, I envy his wife 🙂

  11. June 4, 2011 00:40

    they asked him about his hair…Love the part with Chendo’s son, he’s so adorable!

  12. Nekins permalink
    June 4, 2011 01:16

    Ahh, Missed him so much!

    I love that he only came because of the children. Thank you for translating!!!

  13. June 4, 2011 04:46

    Hey Una,

    Is there a clip for this? Where can we listen?

  14. Kamil permalink
    June 4, 2011 14:36

    Thank You Una! I Have Been Following Your Site For The Whole Season & As Such Very Addicted To It,,hats up to YOU..

  15. Gillian permalink
    June 4, 2011 15:56

    Mou looks handsome in these pics.

    This interview was an interesting read. I always enjoy reading his interviews, because he gives great quotes.

    Thanks for sharing.

  16. June 4, 2011 17:29

    I officially adore him.

    Really, I was very sceptical when he was at Chelsea, but since that time, my feelings had changed drastically.

    What an interesting character. You can love him, you can hate him, but he is a colourful character, there’s no denial about that.

    and “I am here for the children” -sweeet.

  17. Pammie permalink
    June 5, 2011 13:07

    Mou can boycott all pre and post game pressers next season, since there’s never much of interest said anyway. BUT only as long as he keeps giving some interviews like this one!

    Thanks so much for the translation!

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