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José Mourinho at El Mundo

August 28, 2011

José Mourinho gave an interview to newspaper El Mundo in Valdebebas yesterday, and the result was published in today’s edition.  It’s a very interesting read, and it once again shows that Mou is Mou, and like him or not, he won’t let anyone change him.

He’s lost some weight in the last weeks, and it’s not out of nervousness or disgust, though he has more than enough to give in both cases.  José Mourinho is physically preparing himself, because it helps him to stay fit, not only on the outside, but to also maintain his ideas, his certainties and his suspicions about the football that is his job, this Real Madrid that kicks off the season in Zaragoza today with the conviction that this is the year.  Mou doesn’t change and he won’t let others change him, though others have tried hundreds of times throughout his extraordinary career.  In only nine years, he’s won 19 titles with four teams.  There’s no one else like him.

Are you a masochist?

No, of course not.  I put up with everything, yes, but I’m not a masochist.  I think it was Nietzsche who said more than 100 years ago that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.  That’s what happens to me.

Do we know the real Mourinho?

Of course, what happens is that there’s a Mourinho for his job and another for his family and private life.  Both are real, but one is public and the other is private.

Are more truths or more lies told about you?

More lies, many.  But that’s part of the game, part of life.  Life unfolds in that direction.  In difference with other leagues in which I’ve coached, this one is more like a campaign.  The other day a friend of mine who knows nothing about football told me that he would be proud of the campaign that has been organized against me.  It’s an unfair fight, and he said that with all the stones that have been tossed at me, a monument could be made.

Does this hurt you or make you reconsider things?

I’m good.  With each day that goes by, I’m further away from questioning why I came to Madrid when I was doing so well in Inter or why I didn’t leave this summer with the offers that I received.  I never think about those things because this is a unique experience.  Real Madrid is, without any doubt, the most important club in the world.  I am satisfied here, very excited.  I have the feeling that I’m in the right place for me.  I wouldn’t change it for anything.

Can you speak more about this campaign against you?

I believe the world has changed a lot, the persons, football, which is a world in and of itself… there are very few people that have truth, a lack of hypocrisy, as their fundamental principle.  This did exist in the times of our grandparents, of our great grandparents.  The rich, the humble, the fortunate, those who weren’t… they all had this principle, which was common for everyone.  Today, it’s not like that.  It’s precisely the reverse: be a hypocrite, don’t say what you think, don’t be sincere, don’t be honest, you think about surviving no matter what.  Living like that is not living, it’s knowing how to live.  I could be wrong, but I always say what I think, what I feel, without fear of the consequences.  And many people cannot overlook this.  I’m never going to change.  Yes, I should have lived 100 years ago.

That’s what you did with UEFA, for example…

When I went to declare before UEFA, I spent five or six hours there, and when I finished, I felt 10 years younger.  I felt stronger, younger.  I told them everything, absolutely everything that I wanted to say.  I’m not going to reveal what I said, but I told them everything.  The fact that they reduced my sanction by one game means a lot to me and also for football.  I was right, and the result was fantastic.

Do you believe that UEFA has a worse opinion of you than they have of others?

I don’t know.  But in that occasion, I said everything that I felt, and I said everything that I needed to say.  And that made me happy, it made my soul happy.

UEFA has never given you any protection, but last week your colleague Arsene Wenger was able to sit on the bench due to this measure of grace…

I don’t want to say anything about this because I don’t want them to sanction me.  What I do know is that in this edition of the Champions, I’ll coach my 100th game in Europe, against Lyon.  And I’ll be able to do it on the bench rather than in the locker room or in the stands.

Another colleague of yours, who is also a compatriot, Vitor Pereira, has criticized the referring that his Oporto suffered in the European Supercup against Barcelona last Friday.

In the same way that Mr. Michel Platini can say that there are players who are different [Platini said that Leo Messi receives special protection from the referees], there are coaches who are different.  There are those who can say what they want and others that can’t.

What is your opinion of what happened in the Camp Nou in the Supercopa de España?

I prefer not to respond to this because I don’t believe this is the right time.

How has Real Madrid changed since the departure of Jorge Valdano?

The structure has changed.  Right now, we’re working differently.  I’m not saying it’s better or worse.  We’re structured in a different way, and it’s a new change.  For example, the department of communications: before it was global, but now there are two different modules, one for the information of the club and another just for football.  The football department is also undergoing some changes that I believe will be beneficial for Real Madrid.

Is there a problem with Iker Casillas?

If one day Antonio has to play a game and he never played one before, people are going to criticize me, and rightly so.  If he has to enter a Champions League game, people could reproach me for not preparing him better.  But it’s not just that.  It’s very important for me that Antonio is an option.  I don’t want anyone to be untouchable.  I don’t want one player and 10 more.  That’s not how it works with me.

Does Casillas still have your total confidence?

Of course.  Iker is the frontrunner.  We wouldn’t be wrong if we said that the most important thing is Real Madrid.  If the day comes that Casillas does not measure up to the standard, I don’t want Iker to think that he’s untouchable, and I don’t want people to interpret this like the abono that I bought for my son, which is paid for and always his.  The goal is not an abono that you buy.  Not the goal, not the wing, not the forward position.  No position.  That’s why I don’t want it to be a surprise for anyone if Adán plays a game because he needs to be prepared.

What are your thoughts on the beginning of the season?

I have a lot of desire.  Friendlies bore me.  Yes, you have to play friendlies, but they’re a necessary evil.  We prepared ourselves for this, for the championship.  I’m at the limit between maturity and youth.  At the age of 48, I identify more with the youth of maturity than with the maturity of youth.  Let’s see if that’s taken away.

In what ways do you believe that Madrid has improved with regards to the last season?

We’ve gained the experience of working together, of a life in common.  Obviously, we’ve added one more thing.  The team is working, and should be in the condition to add to their play the principles that they didn’t have last year.  We’re showing that.

And the new players?

The team is better.  Of the people that came, Sahin and Altintop have not done anything yet.  Varane should be working in the third division, due to his age, but he has magnificent qualities, and I see him as the present, not as the future.  Coentrão is Coentrão, we’re not going to find out anything new, and Callejón is not a surprise because we signed him with conviction.  He’ll give us a lot.  We haven’t spent as much as others but it appears to me that we did a good job and we’re balanced.

The season begins in Zaragoza.  The beginnings usually aren’t too kind to you…

They’re usually bad for me.  With Inter, we tied against Bari and Sampdoria, and with Porto, we tied against Os Belenenses.  I only won the first two with Chelsea.  What we did in the pre-season should mean that we have the conditions to play, with the obvious difficulties to win.  The strike broke our concentration.  But I repeat that we’re happy to start the championship.  It won’t be easy getting three points from La Romareda.

Is Barcelona, currently in the best moment in its history, an insurmountable challenge?

For me, Barcelona is simply a team that plays in the same competitions.  My challenge is to make my team better.  In any case, I’ve repeated one thing for a while, and it’s still true: Barcelona wins when they play well and they win when they play badly.  I don’t think that’s going to change.  In addition, it’s not in my hands.  In the same way that this situation is real, I can’t change that Madrid wins normally when they play well and lose normally when they play badly.  But for me, Barcelona is a team like any other, better obviously, but my thing is to improve the results of my team, to make it more competitive and to establish the foundation so that it can win more titles.  For that, it’s important to have an equality in conditions.

When you spoke about the “pseudomadridistas” in your letter, who were you referring to?

Once again, I like to call things by their name, to catch the bull by its horns.  I don’t like people who go from one side to another.  Madrid has followers, fans everywhere, and there are millions of them.  After that, they have enemies in the sporting sense, and that to me is as respectable as the former.  But after that, there are others that give the image that they’re very madridista and they’re the first to turn their backs when things go badly.  I don’t want to give lessons to el madridismo because I just arrived, but I am qualified to talk about the pseudomadridismo.  As for the enemies, those who still speak about my club receiving favoritism, I’d like to make a bet with them.  Any game that I’m gifted with can be repeated.  I don’t want anyone to give us anything.  But I don’t want anything to be taken away from us either.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. amouria permalink
    August 28, 2011 16:35

    How to thank you Una for your excellent translation? I used google this morning to understand, but it was awful, couldn’t understand the perspective of our lovely coach.

    Many people would disagree with him, some say he’s an eternal martyr, others say he’s arrogant, master of mindgamese, whatever, but I adore him and feel that he is the perfect person for RM.
    Bless him, you and RM

  2. jennifer permalink
    August 28, 2011 16:53

    Thanks for the translation! It’s a good interview. I appreciate the fact that he has his own rules and doesn’t mind speaking the truth, it’s refreshing nowadays. The only part that I don’t like is the Iker part. I agree that you can’t have a player (Iker) always on the field no matter what, but at the same time Iker is a god and I think he deserves a bit more from his coach, some nicer words.

  3. Sarah, Madrid permalink
    August 28, 2011 17:07

    You either love HIM, or HATE him! no inbetween with Mou!!

  4. eva permalink
    August 28, 2011 18:57

    OMG why do spanish speakers have such a hard time understanding that “o” and “os” are the equivalent of “el” and “los”. They are definitive articles in grammar and are not part of the name of the place or thing. In portuguese we just use “o” or “a” before subjects but they are not part of the name of it. The name is not Oporto but just Porto. If Mourinho did say this during the interview then he was probably mixing spanish and portuguese together by speaking portunhol without even noticing. I mean the team from Porto isn’t called FC Oporto just FC Porto. Rant over 🙂

  5. Alyssa permalink
    August 28, 2011 19:40

    As much as I get a little irked when he does things like poke people in the eye, I’m glad Mourinho is ours. I’ve learned that there’s a method to his madness and even though I might disagree with a few things, I trust him to do what’s best for us.

    And yes Mou, “pseudomadridistas” suck.

  6. Zina permalink
    August 29, 2011 12:26

    He spoke like a lion heart, no?

  7. August 29, 2011 17:46

    Thanks for translation UnaMadridista, an interesting read -as always with Mou. Once again – an intrigueing personality, but I am alwyas curious about what he has to say.

  8. Peter Baltimore permalink
    August 30, 2011 18:31

    Thanks for the translation. Jose has such admirable leadership qualities which can be judged by his inability to just let Barcelona run rough-shod over them. The team can be seen to be improving daily and the fighting spirit is so evident. His little fracas with Casillas might be seen as distracting but, I am sure he is trying to prove a point- which will only make players more eager to play better and not take things for granted. Afterall, even the great Raul was let go… Fingers crossed- this Madrid team might well be the Achilles heel of Barcelona this season.

    Peter O.


  1. Onward To Zaragoza/Where To Watch/Mou in El Mundo « Of Headbands and Heartbreak…

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