Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho believes the midweek Champions League tie between the Spaniards and Premier League leaders Manchester United will be very exciting. The Portuguese claimed the entire world would be waiting to see the match between the giants of the continent. The ex-Chelsea boss was at Old Trafford on Sunday evening, to watch Sir Alex Ferguson’s men beat Everton 2-0 in the league.
“It’s a match the world is waiting for. They are not waiting for other matches in the Champions League. So I hope we can give the world of football what they’re waiting for,” Mourinho told MUTV.
Mourinho also said Madrid were “privileged” to be part of so big a clash on Wednesday. The self-proclaimed “Special One”, who has already won the Champions League twice (with FC Porto and Inter Milan), also spoke on playing under pressure; the result of the two-legged tie will see one of the tournament’s biggest names crash out.
“We have to feel very privileged to play this match. People think we’re under pressure because one of the big teams will soon be out of the biggest competition. But Real Madrid and Manchester United staff, as well as the players, feels privileged. It’s the kind of match you want to play and we have to prepare as best we can,” he explained.
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Madrid will host the first of the two legs and the Santiago Bernabeu outfit warmed up with a 4-1 demolition of Sevilla, at home. Ex-United star Cristiano Ronaldo looks to be in excellent form; the 28-year-old scored the 20th hat-trick of his Madrid career on Saturday.
Madrid’s win changes little in the Spanish domestic championship, with arch-rivals Barcelona still an astonishing 16 points clear at the top. The Champions League, therefore, is the only major trophy the Spanish giants can win this season.
Meanwhile, United cruised to a 2-0 win over the Toffees on Sunday, with Ryan Giggs and Robin van Persie on the score sheet. The win stretches United’s lead at the top of the Premier League to 12 points, following defending champions Manchester City’s shocking defeat to Southampton.
Ferguson, like Mourinho, has been involved in a little bit of controversy in the build-up to this match, with the 71-year-old criticising the Premier League and the scheduling of fixtures. Mourinho, for his part, insisted none of the players, in either team, would be tired.
“We’ve had so many matches between us, with Porto, Chelsea, Internazionale and now with Real Madrid. In every club I meet Sir Alex. I’ve won games, I’ve lost, I’ve drawn. I want to win and he wants to win. But I believe the loser, in the middle of being a bit sad, will have a little bit of space to feel a little bit happy because their friend has won,” Mourinho concluded.