Mourinho vows to isolate emotion on San Siro return
Madrid: Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho breezed back into the San Siro like a rock star on Tuesday but the ice cool Portuguese said sentiment had nothing to do with the serious business of reaching the Champions League last 16.
Mourinho, who won the treble with Inter Milan last term, leads his Real side against AC Milan on Wednesday knowing their first victory in Italy`s second city would send the Group G leaders through to February`s knockout stages.
So many reporters, cameramen and photographers gathered to meet Mourinho that his news conference had to be held in a special San Siro suite rather than the usual press room.
However, the former Porto and Chelsea coach played down the constant flashing of camera bulbs in typical style.
"I must forget everything that is not about the match. I`ve gone back to Porto and Chelsea and I`ve had to isolate emotion," Mourinho said slumped in his chair.
"Inter fans must thank me but I must thank them too. I had a splendid time here. I hope in the future to have the luck to be able to play here against Inter because I want to see the stadium full of Inter fans not Milan fans."
Mourinho had not set foot in the famous shared stadium since he guided Inter in May to their first European Cup success in 45 years at the Bernabeu, the venue that was soon to become his new home with Real.
The walking enigma chose to miss Inter`s party at the San Siro straight after the Champions League final in an act which all but confirmed the suspicions he was leaving for Real.
Having overachieved in two years at Inter, Mourinho knew he would struggle to repeat his mastery in Italy so set about trying to become the first manager to win the European Cup with three teams having also triumphed with Porto in 2004.
His Real side have so far suggested Mourinho may succeed in his quest as early as this season after three group wins out of three including a comprehensive 2-0 win over Milan two weeks ago in Madrid.
Nothing though is that simple with Mourinho, who thinks Milan`s 2-1 home defeat by Juventus on Saturday could work against Real.
"A top team loses once, it`s difficult that they lose twice. Therefore we`ll see a stronger Milan than on Saturday," he said, adding the differences between the Spanish and Italian leagues were clear.
"In Italy everyone loses points. In Spain if you lose even two or three points you are behind."
Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who had one enjoyable season under Mourinho at Inter before his ill-fated move to Barcelona, told an earlier news conference that second-placed Milan had nothing to fear against Real.
"Tomorrow we`ve got to do the opposite of what happened in Madrid," the laidback Swede said.
"They dominated, we were slow and weren`t nasty enough. Tomorrow we will show everyone we are as strong as Real, if not more so."