When speaking prior to tonight’s Champions League semi-final first leg match against La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says that he has nothing but respect for his opponents, and that he is sure that Chelsea striker Fernando Torres is ready to shine for Chelsea against his former club.
“I spoke to my team about their qualities and they are a team we respect,” said Mourinho. “No team arrives at this stage without being a very good team and Atletico are no exception.
“To reach the Champions League semi-finals and to be fighting for the Spanish title, you must be a special team. I have watched them play lots of times, I studied them a lot and tried to make my players ready for what they can do.
“Every player and manager wants to play in the Champions League semi-finals. It is a big motivation for every player and they want to play. Everyone who is fit will be full of motivation.”
Torres made his name at Atletico Madrid scoring 82 goals in six seasons before moving to Liverpool in 2007, and Mourinho has no doubt he will be looking to perform at his best in front of a crowd that still love him.
“The minutes he is on the pitch he is going to try everything for Chelsea, like the professional he is,” said Mourinho.
“I am not saying that Fernando Torres will start, I am saying that he never hides. We feel that every day.
“We talk about Spanish football and he’s a big Atletico supporter, but he’s a professional.”
When Sky Sports tried to get the Portuguese manager to talk about the defeat against Sunderland he refused to talk about it.
“Chelsea today and Tuesday is the Champions League and we are only available to speak about Champions League,” he added.
“We are lucky to be involved in the Champions League, so we are lucky that in the next two days we don’t think about the Premier League and what’s happened and what is going to happen because now we only think about Tuesday.”