La Liga - Mourinho: No magic potion to beat Barca

Tue, 26 Apr 15:34:00 2011

Jose Mourinho says he has no "magic potion" to conjure victory for his Real Madrid side over Barcelona in Wednesday's Champions League semi-final first leg.

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The Portuguese led Internazionale to victory in last year's edition of Europe's elite club competition before moving to Spain, disposing of Pep Guardiola's Barca side on the way with a 3-2 aggregate win in the semi-finals.

However, he reminded reporters on Tuesday that he was still the same coach who suffered a 5-0 La Liga drubbing at Barca's hands at the Nou Camp in November.

"They (Barca) are a top team with a top coach and everything is possible," he said at Real's training ground.

"I am exactly the same coach who lost 5-0 to Barcelona and I don't have any magic potion."

However, the balance of power has somewhat shifted since then, with Real fighting back with 10 men to salvage a 1-1 La Liga draw at the Bernabeu this month and going on to beat their arch rivals 1-0 last week in a dramatic Copa del Rey final in Valencia.

"We played a great game in Valencia (in the Cup final) but tomorrow is another match. We have to play at our top level and not be influenced by what has already past," added Mourinho.

Mourinho, who was assistant to Bobby Robson and Louis van Gaal at Barcelona between 1996 and 2000, said it was difficult to predict which side would progress to the May 28 final at London's Wembley stadium.

"These are two teams that know each other well, with tradition, with players who know success and what it means to play important games," he said.

"My opinion is that there are no favourites. In a semi-final with two legs there are no favourites."

Real, the nine-times winners, have beaten Barca twice before at the same last-four stage of the competition, en route to their triumphs in 1960 and 2002.

Wednesday's match falls exactly 51 years after their 3-1 win at the Nou Camp in the second leg of the 1959/60 European Cup semi-final.

In the first round of the following season's competition, Barca knocked Real out of the European Cup.

Mourinho said he had quoted Albert Einstein to his players to illustrate the importance of "will" in sports contests.

"One day he (Einstein) said that the only mechanical force more powerful than steam, electricity and atomic energy is will," he said.

"That Alberto bloke was not stupid. With will you can achieve things."

Reuters

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