MADRID – After Javier Zanetti, Wesley Sneijder and Esteban Cambiasso, it was José Mourinho’s turn to talk to the press in Friday’s Champions League final press conference.
This is what the Inter coach had to say:
Tomorrow you face your old friend Louis Van Gaal.
"I worked with him for three years. We lived fifty metres apart. I had a special relationship with Van Gaal. It was a pleasure to work with him. From Van Gaal I learnt that you have to work very hard to win. I haven’t forgotten him. He’s a fantastic person. He says we play a defensive game? I don’t think Van Gaal has seen many of our games…"
Are you already feeling the pressure of this game?
"I’ll feel the pressure tomorrow. I know myself. Tomorrow I will wake up and say to myself ‘wow, I’ll be playing the Champions League in a few hours’. The heart beats faster, the body temperature is a bit higher, and then everything ends when we get off the bus and I will enter my natural habitat without pressure. And it will have to be the same for the players."
The rumours about a future at Real Madrid?
"No problem for me. I have already said that when you’re playing a Champions League final, you only think about that. Playing this final is a dream, not an obsession. Tomorrow after the match it’s over for everyone. Holidays at the beach, in the mountains, and then the World Cup, but at the moment everyone is thinking about this game."
Is this your last match as coach of Inter?
"When the match ends tomorrow I can’t say it’s my last for Inter. I will make my decision next week. It’s not easy to leave friends of many battles but you can’t make a decision after a match. In my last match for Porto in the 2004 final I knew that I would be coach of Chelsea. It won’t be the same tomorrow."
This final is the most important match for Inter in the last 45 years. Is it the most important match for José Mourinho also?
"Yes, yes. It’s the next one. The next match is always the most important one for me. This one is the last match of the season and it’s the one that can give us an important trophy. It’s normal to want to win this match. It will be a fantastic match for the fans tomorrow. Many of them have never seen Inter win this competition."
Will Pandev play tomorrow?
"We will play as a team. I’m not thinking about the individual players who will play. And I’m not thinking about who will score and who won’t. If we win, the team wins. If we lose, the team loses. I’m not thinking about individuals."
Will refereeing incidents in past games affect this game?
"Inter reach this final after playing sixty minutes with ten men when we should have had eleven men. What happened in Fiorentina-Bayern or in Manchester-Bayern is not important today. There’s no rule of compensation in football. Refereeing incidents in past games don’t count. Tomorrow Inter want to win, Bayern want to win, and the referees want to win too. This is like the world final so everyone in it wants to do a great job. I trust the referees. This match is more important than the World Cup final."
What do you know about Real Madrid?
"I don’t know anything about Real Madrid, I don’t know their philosophy, I don’t know their projects. I only know their history. And I’m not worried about knowing it today because I have this final to play with Inter. We worked very well today at Real Madrid’s training centre and I thank them for their hospitality."
Is the World Club Championship important for you?
"It’s important for a club, because the club can say it is world champion. But it’s not very important for me. For me, the Champions League final is the El Dorado of football."
President Moratti spoke earlier today about the happiness of being in Madrid.
"President Moratti is a very special person for me. I thank him for bringing me to Inter two years ago. I hope to see him smiling with the trophy tomorrow, crying with joy. I would like to see his photo with the trophy alongside the one of his father in Appiano Gentile."