Football

Mourinho plays down expectations

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Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho insists he has "no magic potion" when it comes to beating Barcelona as the Primera Division rivals prepare to go head to head for a place in the Champions League final.

Madrid host Barca in the first leg of the semi-final at the Bernabeu on Wednesday - the third of four Clasicos in 18 days - and Mourinho will be looking to get the upper hand over his former side once again.

"I don't have a magic potion to beat Barcelona," he said. "I work very hard and very seriously, and I spend many hours trying to help the people around me."

In a typically frank pre-match press conference, Mourinho also revealed he had quoted Albert Einstein to his players and hit out at Barca counterpart Pep Guardiola regarding referee comments.

At the same stage of last season's competition, Mourinho helped Inter Milan knock out Barca, while last week the Portuguese guided Madrid to victory over Guardiola's men in the final of the Copa del Rey.

That 1-0 triumph at the Mestalla saw Madrid pick up their first trophy in almost three years and ended a six-game run without a win over Barca.

However, with November's 5-0 mauling at the Nou Camp - Mourinho's heaviest defeat as a coach - still fresh in the memory, the Madrid boss was keen to temper expectations.

He added: "A few months ago we lost 5-0 and I was also the manager then. We played a good match (against Barca) at the Bernabeu in the league and we also played a good match in Valencia, but on Wednesday we are facing a top opponent with a top coach."

Mourinho has already impressed on his side the importance of the adage 'where there's a will there's a way', though.

He said: "I told my players there was someone called Albert, Albert Einstein, who said that there is a force more powerful than steam, electricity and atomic energy - will. And this guy Albert was not stupid. With will you can achieve things."

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European News
Football
UEFA Champions League

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