Ronaldo confident Real will overcome Bayern and make final in Munich
22:20 GMT, 24 April 2012
Jose Mourinho rifled through his list of Champions League semi-final disappointments – Liverpool twice as Chelsea manager, Barcelona last year – but even with this cultivated paranoia, Real Madrid still transmit sincere belief that there will be no Spanish dismay at home to Bayern Munich.
‘The team’s moment has arrived,’ said Cristiano Ronaldo. ‘It’s a big game and we’re going to win it.’
After losing 2-1 in Germany last Tuesday, Real must win if they are to advance to their first European Cup final since Glasgow in 2002, the night Zinedine Zidane’s stupendous volley saw off — just about — German opposition in Bayer Leverkusen.
On the road to Munich: Ronaldo is confident Real Madrid will win and make the final
An impressive fact about Real Madrid this season is that Bayern’s late victory in Bavaria was the first time Real had lost since January. That was to Barcelona.
The only other team to have beaten Real this season are Levante and that was back in September.
Mourinho has never been accused of diffidence but, after Saturday’s La Liga breakthrough at the Nou Camp, he and the Real squad must be feeling close to invincible.
‘We want and deserve to reach the final,’ said Mourinho. ‘My men are calm and we’re in perfect form to play the game. We’re neither too excited nor too relaxed.’
Need to score: Real Madrid trail 2-1 in the tie
Speaking before the second leg between Chelsea and Barcelona, Mourinho added of Chelsea: ‘If Barcelona faced someone else, like AC Milan or Arsenal, I wouldn’t care who wins tonight but, without being hypocritical, I’ll admit that I have a soft spot for Chelsea and Inter Milan, so I’d like my former players to reach the final.’
He was also asked about the possible managerial vacancy at Stamford Bridge this summer amid ongoing speculation that he will depart Real.
‘I think I will continue, there’s no reason for me to leave,’ replied Mourinho.
Hard luck story: Jose Mourinho listed all his semi-final defeats
All appears at ease at the Bernabeu at the moment, but it does not take much to start a drama there and Bayern must be beaten if louder questions about Mourinho’s future are not to pour forth.
A good omen for Mourinho is that it was at the Bernabeu two years ago his Inter Milan team defeated Munich 2-0 in the final.
Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Holger Badstuber and Thomas Muller are the only Bayern survivors who featured in the first leg last week.
Schweinsteiger is the only one of the quartet not on a booking and one more away from being banned from the final — at Bayern’s ground next month.
A total of seven of Jupp Heynckes’ players are in that predicament; Real have three in the same position, including Xabi Alonso.
Schweinsteiger, as confident as Ronaldo, said that the German side realise they probably will need to score to go through — ‘and we will’.