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Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Mourinho reiterates desire to return to England

Soccernet staff

Jose Mourinho has again stated he wants to one day return to English football ahead of his trip to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea in the Champions League.

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Mourinho, who won back-to-back Premier League titles with the Blues, did insist he remains fully committed to Inter Milan, but that he also still wishes to win the La Liga title too.

Speaking at the pre-match press conference on Monday, the Portuguese said: "I have, as I said before, three things to do in my career - one is to come back to English football; another thing is to win the Spanish championship, because no-one has won Italian, English and Spanish titles; and another one, when I'm old, is to coach my national team. But, for now, I would like to keep winning with Inter.''

Asked what he might have achieved had he stayed with Chelsea, who he left after a fall-out at boardroom level in September 2007, Mourinho said: "I feel sorry but I look forward. I feel sorry because, when I look at the big four teams while I was in England, they (the managers) are all there.

"Sir Alex Ferguson is here. Arsene Wenger is here. Rafa Benitez is here. I did more than enough to be here. But the decision was made. Chelsea looked forward. I look forward. They move on. I move on. I keep winning important things. They keep winning ... something.

"They won an FA Cup. The most important thing is the relation we have. No regrets, no big problems. Just respect. In football, coming back to an old team, it's important to feel like I feel. It's one of the most beautiful things in football. They move on, I move on.

"Change one thing? It would be ... I would have left the day after the FA Cup final after my third season. The timing was wrong. I waited three or four more months more and, after that, I left in September and I didn't enjoy my time from then to the day I went to Inter.

"For me, being away from football is too painful. If I had left Chelsea in May, I would have started the next season in a new club and I would not have been without football for six or seven months.''

Mourinho refused to be drawn on a reported fall-out between the coach and striker Mario Balotelli, who was not in the squad for the journey to London.

"I don't want to talk about him,'' said Mourinho. "He won't be here. He won't be at the match. I can explain why I called up the other 20 players. It's more important to talk about the players who will be there tomorrow, not those that are not.''

And then there is the referee Wolfgang Stark - an official with history where Inter are concerned.

"We were talking about the referee, but we know that Inter lost against Arsenal, Valencia and Manchester United with this referee,'' said Mourinho. "But I don't believe in bad luck. What's more important is to have a good performance.''

Looking almost nervous, Mourinho denied it would special for him to knock Chelsea out.

"Special for me would be to take Inter over the barrier and into the quarter-finals,'' said Mourinho. "Inter lost, if I remember right, in the last years to Villarreal, Valencia, Liverpool, Manchester United last season. So it would be special for me to take my team into the next stage. But special to beat Chelsea? No, it would not be special. It means I will go to the quarter-finals. That is all. I have nothing to prove to Chelsea, to Chelsea's players, to Chelsea's fans, to Chelsea's board. The relations are great.''

When asked if it was a new Mourinho by showing so much respect and not stirring things up ahead of the game, he replied: "I can't do this in Chelsea. I can't do this. My celebrations will be restrained if we win out of respect.

"Because it's Chelsea. Because it's the team where I worked for three and a half years, the same people, the same players, the same supporters who made me feel incredible every time we played in this stadium.

"But don't confuse this emotional control with professionalism. Don't confuse this emotional control with a desire to win. Tomorrow, during the 90 minutes, I will give everything to try and help my team win. Players win matches on the pitch. Coaches just try and give a bit of help. I'll try and do that. But don't confuse my feelings for my ex-players and my ex-club with my desire and motivation to win this game.

"I feel at home here. I opened the door and walked through the door; I went to the second floor where there are people I know; to the third floor where there are people I know. But for 90 minutes I will know nobody. Before the game I know everybody and I love them, and after the game I know everybody and I love them. But for 90 minutes I know nobody.

"The only thing I can do is prepare for the game with all my qualities, with all my motivation, and play the game tomorrow with everything I have to try and go to the quarter-finals.''

While Mourinho appeared glassy-eyed as he recalled his time at Stamford Bridge, he was not at all convinced Inter had an advantage because of Chelsea's goalkeeping crisis.

"When I was Chelsea's manager, we played in the Champions League against Barcelona with our third-choice in goal,'' said Mourinho. "Cech and Carlo Cudicini were injured, and Hilario made his debut against Barcelona. We beat them at Stamford Bridge and drew in Camp Nou. So I don't think it's a big problem, especially if we don't have a shot. It'll be no problem for sure, then.

"It's not the first time a team plays with the third goalkeeper. To be fair, I don't know the goalkeeper very, very well but, to be in Chelsea, he will play with quality.''




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