MADRID - Jose Mourinho, a coach rarely
short of a theory, has been quoting Albert Einstein to convince
his Real Madrid players the will to win can be the decisive
factor in their Champions League clash with Barcelona.
"One day he (Einstein) said that the only mechanical force
more powerful than steam, electricity and atomic energy is
will," Mourinho told a news conference on the eve of the first
leg of the semi-final between the two great rivals.
"That Alberto bloke was not stupid. With will you can
Mourinho led Inter Milan to victory in last year's edition
of Europe's elite club competition after disposing of Pep
Guardiola's Barca side in the semis.
The Portuguese coach, having taken over at Real Madrid this
season, saw his new team overcome favourites Barcelona to win
the King's Cup final in Valencia last week.
However, Mourinho 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 on Tuesday.
"I am exactly the same coach who lost 5-0 to Barcelona and I
don't have any magic potion."
Whatever Mourinho might say, the balance of power has
shifted somewhat since then, with Real fighting back with 10 men
to salvage a 1-1 La Liga draw at the Bernabeu this month before
beating their arch-rivals 1-0 in the domestic cup final.
"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 passed," added Mourinho
who will be without injured midfielder Sami Khedira.
Mourinho, assistant to Bobby Robson and Louis van Gaal at
Barca from 1996 to 2000, said it was difficult to predict which
side would progress to the May 28 final at 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 European Cup winners, have beaten
Barcelona 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
In the first round of the following season's competition,
Barca knocked Real out of the European Cup.
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