Mourinho wary of Man City threat as Champions League clash edges closer
11:49 GMT, 16 September 2012
Jose Mourinho has insisted that his Real Madrid side are wary of the threat that Manchester City will pose when the two go head-to-head in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
Both sides won their domestic leagues last season and the fixture is the pick of the bunch in the opening week of Europe's showpiece club event.
Mourinho, whose side warmed up for the game with a 1-0 defeat at Sevilla on Saturday night, has been over to England to scout City ahead of the game.
Wary: Mourinho welcomes Man City to Madrid on Tuesday night
'I went over to see City play because I want my job to be done as close to perfection as possible. I wanted to analyse our opponents not just by video or stats but to see them first hand,' Mourinho told the Sun on Sunday.
'Okay a match against QPR is not a good game to make a direct transfer to a match in the Bernabeu. But it was good enough to see some aspects of the City team.
'And what I do know is they have very good players – and are a powerful side.'
Mourinho picked out City strike duo Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli for praise: 'I don’t like to speak about opponents individually but it’s no problem to say that we respect Carlos Tevez a lot,' he added.
'I also know Mario Balotelli and the
player he is because we were together at Inter for two years and so he
certainly has nothing to prove to me.'
have won the European Cup a record nine times, but they have not done
so since Zinedine Zidane's screamer at Hampden Park helped beat Bayer
Leverkusen 10 years ago.
Threat: Mourinho managed Mario Balotelli when the pair were at Inter
But Mourinho insists there is no added pressure to become kings of Europe this year.
'Real Madrid is Real Madrid, it’s the real thing. A club no football result, no cup competition, no coach, no player can ever change,' he said.
'Quite simply Real Madrid is a club like no other. It’s incomparable with any other club in the world.
'There is no team anywhere that can be compared with Real Madrid. None.
'Remember I was in Portugal, in England and in Italy before coming here to Madrid, so I know what I am saying. There are great clubs but the pressure and the expectation is the greatest here at Real Madrid.
'It is huge but it is an enjoyable pressure, not a suffocating one.'
Meanwhile, City boss Roberto Mancini has told his players to ignore Mourinho in the build up to Tuesday night's game, insisting that he can have little impact on the outcome of the game.
'I played against him twice, Lazio
against Porto seven or eight years ago in the UEFA Cup. We lost 4-1 in
Porto and drew 0-0 in Rome,' Mancini said.
Unsettled: Ronaldo (left) spoke of being 'sad' earlier this month
'I also met him in Milan when he went to Inter.
'It’s important that our players play this game – only this. The other things are not important.
'Without players you can’t play – but without managers you can still play.'
Mancini also confirmed that City were not interested in signing Cristiano Ronaldo, who is reportedly unhappy in the Spanish capital.
'Did we think of trying to sign him in the summer No,' Mancini said.
'But if they leave Cristiano at home on Tuesday night it would be better for us. Players like Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are difficult to mark.
'At the moment these two are the best players in the world. Real Madrid and Barcelona are the best teams in the world.'