Real Madrid Coach José Mourinho conceded his first interview of the season to Spanish tabloid Diario As. This first part of the interview dealt with UEFA's future Financial Fair Play, the Champions League's Group Stage and the rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona. The second part will be published tomorrow.
How are the teams going to compete against the kind of money that Manchester City, PSG or the Russian teams have?
Real Madrid, Barça, Bayern, they all have a unique historical success. And this can't be bought. The titles, the European cups, the history, the crowd, these things can't be bought with money. The best players will want to be in these big clubs. Later, we need to take into account that UEFA's Financial Fair Play is almost there. And Platini says he will make the clubs abide this new rule. In Real Madrid's case, our structure is well-prepared, and we got the history and potential to keep the best players like Casillas, Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema or Higuaín, well, all of our roster. The same goes for Barça. But the clubs that live thanks to their owners' inversions won't have it that easy. Financial Fair Play will do a good thing for football.
Head after the jump to read Mourinho's interview in As.
There are three kinds of players in the European elite teams. The top-ten players, the middle class and then the lower class. No team can afford to have top-ten players, but the middle class players will likely look for structured clubs like Madrid or Barcelona. Is that the problem?
It might be, I don't know. At the moment, the market is changing a lot. This very same week, the Russian football, Zenit, spent 100M€ for Hulk and Witsel. And Oporto and Benfica are the two historical teams in Portugal. We all thought these two players could end in top Champions League teams, but they have gone to Russia. Money is still important for the players, but mainly for the middle-class ones. If a player earns 5M€ a year, he won't leave the club he's in for 5.5M€ a year. But if someone earns 12.000€ a year and they offered him 40.000€, he will surely switch jobs, and it's normal, because that changes your life. Hulk and Witsel's cases are going to be repeated in this next few years. But it won't be that easy to drag a player out from these historical teams we were talking about.
Can you talk about the Champions League Group stage? Real Madrid will need to face German, Dutch and English champions.
That's right. Three of us are champions of Europe's best leagues: The Premier League, La Liga BBVA and the Bundesliga. I think Calcio is struggling, so only Juventus could afford to be at our level at this moment. France is growing, but they are not at this level yet. it's a really tough group, that's for sure. And Ajax always offers young, talented players that will make things difficult for us. We will need to be completely focused on every game, and if we advance to the next stage, we will likely have a disadvantage in suspensions and mental toughness. We will not be able to make any rotation. But I know my team, and I have to say that it is easier for me and my roster to prepare for these tough matches. They know they have to be at their best and win from the first minute of the Manchester City game.
Will Manchester City be the main opposition?
I'm not that sure. Dortmund has won two German leagues in a row. They have quality players from Germany, Poland, and also a unique atmosphere at their stadium. And you never know about Ajax. We don't have room for mistakes, but yes, Manchester City is a powerful team that has been built to win this competition. It's going to be tough, but they are thinking the same thing because they have to face Real Madrid.
Real Madrid has beaten Barcelona two times in a row. Is the cycle changing?
I'm not the one to talk about this. But it's obvious that we've broken Barcelona's successful streak, and we have to see how this battle ends. But we're talking about two very good teams. Any other team in the world wouldn't fight for the first or second position in La Liga BBVA. And that's why I picked Real Madrid. It's harder to be here. It's easier to win when you don't play against Barcelona in any given league. But Real Madrid's last Liga BBVA success is also due to the pressure that Barcelona put us through. Clásicos are a blessing to football, the fans are going to enjoy the next games. I don't have the numbers, but I'm sure the Supercup games had better ratings that most Champions League matches.
Since you're Madrid's coach but also General Manager, can you solve Cristiano Ronaldo's issue?
Let me think about this some minutes...
Ok. Did you have enough time?
Yes, but this is something I can't speak about.
I'm not going to say anything about this.
You don't answer because you would like to speak with Cristiano first?
Excuse me, I like this interview. I can talk about anything. I've answered to every question sincerely, but please, don't ask me about this, you must understand me. Please don't insist.
Just to finish, what does Mourinho think about the Príncipe Asturias award given to Casillas and Xavi?
That was one of the good news of the day. I take this chance to congratulate them from As' pages. To Iker, our captain and the player with the most matches played under Spain's jersey, i send a sincere hug. To Xavi I also send my most sincere congratulation.
Stay tuned to Managing Madrid for the second part of the interview. And while you wait, why not like us on facebook, tweet us @managingmadrid, and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes?