All is well with Real
Madrid despite Saturday's 3-1 defeat at home to arch-rivals
Barcelona, manager Jose Mourinho said on Monday, adding that he
would not swap places with any other team.
"There is no feeling of inferiority," Mourinho told a news
conference. "I wouldn't change our situation with anyone else's.
"My motivation is as strong as ever," he added in response
to a question. "Leaders in the Champions League, [joint] leaders
in La Liga and you are asking me about motivation?"
Real were three points clear of champions Barca before the
opening Clasico of the campaign at their Bernabeu stadium but
slipped to second place behind the Catalans on goal difference
after the defeat.
Mourinho, poached from Inter Milan 18 months ago to try to
end Barca's domination, said Real, with a game in hand while
Barcelona compete in the Club World Cup in Japan, could regain
the league lead going into the Christmas break if they beat
Sevilla next weekend.
Mourinho left a string of first-choice players out of the
squad for Tuesday's King's Cup last-32 first-leg game against
third-tier Ponferradina, including goalkeeper Iker Casillas,
playmaker Xabi Alonso, winger Angel di Maria and striker Karim
Benzema, as Real begin their defence of the trophy.
However, he called up his Portuguese compatriot Cristiano
Ronaldo despite criticism of the former World Player of the
Year's performance against Barca, when he missed two clear
chances and was whistled at by some home fans.
"If he is like me he doesn't listen to whistling," Mourinho
said, joining Casillas and his fellow club captain Sergio Ramos
in rallying behind Ronaldo.
"He was affected by losing a match, as we all were, but
without ever losing his emotional balance," he added. "It's
normal that he is sadder today than he was 15 days ago but there
is no drama about his situation."
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