Welcome to this new segment at Managing Madrid. In Mourinho's Words, we will bring you Mourinho's most important quotes from his pre-game press conferences.
Real Madrid Coach José Mourinho spoke to the media ahead of what will be Real Madrid's first match of 2012. Los blancos will receive Málaga today (Tuesday) at 10 p.m. local time. This will be the first game of the Copa del Rey leg.
We will, at least, have six matches this January, and my intention is that no player participates in all six matches. Nuri (Sahin) will surely have minutes this month.
Asked about the possible winter transfers and the rumors of Real Madrid players headed elsewhere:
I would not want any player to leave, but until January 31st the market is open. We are 21 men and the goalkeepers, and that is the perfect number to face all competitions. I have recently said that I have not asked for any other player.
Mesut Özil has not played well recently, and that presented another topic in Mourinho's press conference:
Özil? We play well, we win, we enjoy playing and the crowd enjoys watching us. All that matters is that we have a very competitive roster.
There's a debate in Real Madrid's fanbase on who should be Real's starting striker, Benzema or Higuaín. For Mourinho, this debate does not exist because he takes into consideration the rival's strengths to decide which one should play each game.
How can you say that Benzema or Higuaín are starters? This is Real Madrid, we do not have starters, here we have a big club life. We need all players avalaible in the roster, now that we are going to play matches of three competitions.
For the question about Callejón, Mourinho might have referred to Pedro León and Canales, who had a hard time in the club, but nobody saw them fighting for the spot as much as Callejón has this season:
I consider him (Callejón) a boy who has spent some years out of Real Madrid. He values every minute he is on the field and I am sure he has felt the difference between being a Real Madrid player or being in another team. He goes very hard every minute and that's why he has more options to start.
Last question was about Málaga's chances going to this game:
I expect Malaga to think that they can do it. They made a great investment, and when somebody invests, he expects something in return. I think the Cup is a target for them. I know they had a difficult draw, they have a long way to go but I think they want to do it. The Cup is a bonus they dream of.
This section will come back tomorrow when Mourinho addresses the Media after the game at the Bernabeu.