Pre-Champions League Pressers – Mou, Essien, Sir Alex & De Gea

12 Feb

Mourinho (1)Sorry it’s taken me so long to get this post up. I got caught up in the State of the Union address (as one does). Had to cheer on the POTUS.

Real’s Commander in Chief, Mou gave a presser today, joined by Michael Essien.


Mourinho: “We’ve all been waiting for this match and we want to put on a great show”

“Cristiano Ronaldo is the most amazing player I’ve had, he’s out of this world”, said the Real coach

José Mourinho spoke before the press at the Santiago Bernabéu press room. The Real coach, who’s more than familiar with his upcoming Champions League round of 16 rival, analyzed the playoff against the Premier League’s top side: “They’re two squads with loads of potential. It’s the biggest match in this round of the Champions League and the fact that this room is packed proves well what it means for the world of football. We’ve all been waiting for this match and we want to put on a great show. They’re also going to want to play a great game and I hope to give everyone what they want. ”
The Portuguese coach also spoke about his previous matches against the English side and the motivation that every player has to participate in one of these games: “I enjoy big matches; all the players want to play in these games. Some are frustrated because they won’t play, but those that are there at the start have a great match to play and I hope that we can put on a great show. It’s always a privilege, not just when you win these matches. We all want to play against great teams and Manchester United is one of them. The first time I played against them was nine years ago and I remember each game, each detail and each result. This match is yet another one and I hope that the game we play in Old Trafford won’t be the last in this competition”.

BC7P1xtCQAE8MLTWhen asked if it would be a failure to be eliminated in the Champions League round of 16 and if the future of the entire season is on the line, Mourinho was straight-forward: “There are big clubs and coaches in Europe who’ve never won [the Champions League]. Both Real Madrid and I are privileged because we’ve won nine and two, respectively. We want to win the tenth and third. I will fight for my third until I get it. I have confidence in my work and I don’t plan on retiring with just two Champions. We have four competitions to play this season and we’ve won the Super Cup. We lost the league, and we’re in two competitions that we can either win or lose. We’ll have to wait until the end and then take stock of the season”.

BC7QS9ICMAA2lD0Mourinho is clear on how his players will take the pitch against the English squad: “It’s easier to play against great teams. One of the things we’ve lacked this season is motivation when we played minor opponents, which is why we lost points in La Liga. We’re in a tough group in the Champions League and we knew we were going to have to play at the highest level to qualify. We’ll be up against a great rival tomorrow. “

BC7QcPJCcAA35nqThe Real Madrid coach praised the athletic virtues of Cristiano Ronaldo: “None of the great players I’ve coached should take it badly if I say yes. He’s the most amazing player I’ve had, but I’ve been very lucky because I have had people who have given everything for me. He’s at a higher level of football because he’s out of this world”.

The Portuguese coach brought up two more names: Pepe and Essien. About the first he said: “He’s called up and if he is it’s because he’s able to play. He’s been out for a long time, but he’s worked hard to return. He played 25 minutes in the last match and in a position that helped get back into the pace”. Regarding the Ghanaian, who accompanied him in the press room, and his possible starting position, Mourinho commented: “I’m not telling you my team. I’d like to know who they are and I don’t know. “

BC7PRgNCYAARxAKIn reference to his strategy for the match, Mourinho explained: “Manchester also wants to know. You because you’re a journalist and United because they have a complicated game. Today we worked on tactics and you’ll have to ask your sources, which are as clear as mineral water some days and like cloudy water on others. We know how we want to play and we’re going to give it a try, but we’re facing a really strong team with extensive international experience who knows how to handle the variables of a match like this. “

BC7PsrqCQAE1RmpMourinho finally spoke about his work and a possible change of scenery to England at the end of the season: “I want to retire at 70 and I have 20 more years to work. That’s because I enjoy it just like it was the first day. There is no crisis. It is easier to understand with a dinner with the Spanish media. Against Manchester you’ll see my players on the pitch in front of me and you’ll see that there’s no crisis. After Real I’ll return to England. Normally that would be my next step, but I do think it will be as a substitute for Ferguson because I think we should finish our careers at the same time. He at 90 years old and me at 70”.

Essien was all up on the “daddy” thing again, undoubtedly freaking out just about everyone in the room besides him and Jose. Bless. He even posted pictures of them from the presser on Instgram.

2e432cbc756511e29d7122000a1f97c6_7FROM REALMADRID.COM

Essien: “We’re not afraid of Manchester United, we’re excited and keen to play”

“I’ve played against Manchester United a number of times and they have many experienced attackers, but it’ll be up to us to find the means to stop them”, the Ghanaian midfielder stated

Essien (1)

Michael Essien joined Jose Mourinho in the Santiago Bernabeu press room a little over 24 hours before the match against Manchester United. It won’t be the first time that the Ghanaian midfielder goes up against the English team, but it’ll be his first time appearing against the Brits in the Real Madrid shirt. He’s beaten them on six occasions, so he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to the team that Alex Ferguson manages: “We’re not afraid of Manchester United, we’re excited and keen to play. It’ll be difficult and we’re going to see a great game. I’ve played against them a number of times and I can’t wait for the match. I want to support the team in all aspects. The fans are going to be fantastic, I’m sure they’ll help us”.

Essien (4)The Real Madrid footballer praised Mourinho: “He’s been magnificent to me. I’m really pleased to be here. He’s smiling. He’s always pleased, happy and working hard for the team. I’ve never seen him sad”. With regards to whether he’s going to be in the starting line-up against the English team, he commented: “Ask my father”.

Essien (5)Asked about Cristiano Ronaldo, who will be playing against Manchester United for the first time since leaving the English team, he said: “He’s anxious and wants the game to start already. He’s feeling a lot of emotion and he’s in great physical condition to face this match. I’m sure that he’ll help us”.

Essien (2)The Real Madrid midfielder also spoke of his progress with the Whites: “I couldn’t turn down this opportunity and I enjoy every minute. I want to work hard so that the team wins. At the moment everything’s going very well. The months I’ve been here have been fantastic and I’ve loved my experiences so far. It’s all been excellent and I hope to be able to continue this way”.

161593107Regarding whether Manchester United is more offensive at home than away, he replied: “I don’t think I can answer that question. The have many good players, attackers with a lot of experience, and it’s going to be up to them and to us to find the means to stop them”.

Essien (3)Lastly, in reference to the Manchester United footballers Evra and Kagawa, he explained: “Evra is a great player and one of the best left backs in the world. He always gives 100% for his team. I don’t know Kagawa well. If Manchester United has spent money on him he must be a good player. He’s had some injuries”.

I love Essien’s smile! He just seems like such a sweet man. I know I say that all the time, but I really mean it.

Sir Alex Ferguson and hometown boy David De Gea did the Manchester United presser toda

Manchester_United (2)FROM REALMADRID.COM

Ferguson: “These matches mean something special and it’s a fantastic challenge”
by Javier García

“Everyone knows how Cristiano plays; it’s hard to stop him but we’ll do everything possible”, said De Gea

Alex Ferguson and David de Gea had time in the Santiago Bernabéu’s press room today, where the pair talked about the upcoming clash between Real Madrid and Manchester United. The Scottish manager gave his thoughts on the match: “Jose summed it up perfectly. It is a game everyone has been waiting for. It is a fantastic challenge between two teams and two clubs who embrace the best parts of football: a great reputation and a lot of titles. We’re really excited. When you play against these teams the matches mean something special. I can assure you that there will be goals and that the game will live up to expectations. Both teams want to move forward and unfortunately we are meeting as early as this, but I wish it had been in the final”.

Undisputed leader of the Premier League, Manchester United faces the Champions League round of 16 aiming to keep up their positive numbers. “Real Madrid is one of Europe’s best sides today. Their speed is incredible and we know it. We have to play our game. We always try to win and score goals. We can’t leave the door open for them and we have to be balanced”, explained Ferguson regarding his tactics for the match.
The Manchester boss also spoke about his squad’s chances in Europe: “We’re in a fantastic spot, things are going well for us. Also, you usually have two or three injured players at this point and that hasn’t happened. I think we can win the Champions. We have a lot of spirit. People say we are not as good as the teams of the past but the team has a lot of skill and we have good individual players. We have a chance to proclaim ourselves champions. We’ll play well and we’ll have to win to keep moving forward”.

When asked about Cristiano Ronaldo, Ferguson replied: “Cristiano is absolutely a better player because of his maturity. He was such a young man when he left and he has matured. He and Lionel Messi are the best players in the world and Cristiano’s goal record is phenomenal. Cristiano is in top form and speed, he’s never injured, he plays match after match, and that makes him unique”.

Manchester_United (3)Ferguson also had words of praise for Mourinho: “He’s won the Champions twice and if he wins this time it will be with three different squads. He’s won a lot of trophies for his age and I think he’ll have a great career. He transformed Chelsea and, when we play against him he catches us in tough situations and he’s beaten us a few times. You can’t always win. I think that there could be tactical surprises from both teams in this match and I’m trying to figure out what Mourinho’s got planned”.

Regarding the differences between Barcelona and Real Madrid, the Manchester coach commented: “Barcelona has had excellent results in recent years. They have an amazing midfield that always wants to play. It’s really difficult for Madrid to reach that, but they’re doing really well thanks to Mourinho’s motivation and Cristiano’s goals. The biggest difference between the two is Barcelona’s continuity”. As far as the difference in the Spanish Liga, he said: “Real Madrid didn’t start out well and Barcelona did, and I believe that they’ll have the best record in history if they keep on like this”.

_1AM3419ThumbFerguson also spoke about a number of players on his own side: “Van Persie is now approaching the level Messi and Cristiano. He’s amazing and he’s having a great year. We’re really happy with his performance. De Gea has shown what he’s made of and he’s overcome a lot of problems. He’s a young kid, who came to a new championship and didn’t speak the language. He’s getting better and we’re experts in developing players. Chicharito is an incredible professional, with his personality and effort it’s a pleasure to have him as a player. I would love to always be able to play him”.

In terms of the number of days that the teams are given to prepare for the match he said: “It’s a disadvantage to have played on Sunday, but we won’t use it as an excuse. I spoke with Mourinho and he told me that TV didn’t help because he tried to change the match against Barcelona and he wasn’t successful. An extra day is a lot to rest and to better prepare the match”.

Manchester_United (1)Ferguson was joined by David de Gea in the Santiago Bernabéu press room, who spoke about his squad’s field advantage: “It’s important to play the second leg at Old Trafford, but if we don’t pick up a good result here it doesn’t mean anything. We have to have a good result ahead of the second leg, or at least a chance, to face the second match with guarantees”. The Spanish goalkeeper also said that he’s developed in the Premier League: “I came to a new country and I had some complicated moments, but I’m a much better goalkeeper now”.

When asked about the absence of Casillas, De Gea remarked: “Whenever Iker is missing it’s a great loss for his squad, but Real Madrid has two great goalkeepers who will also do a great job. It’s a significant loss”. To conclude, De Gea spoke about Cristiano Ronaldo’s powerful strike: “Everyone knows how he strikes and how he plays. It’s obvious that it’s rough, but we’ll do everything possible to stop him. He’s the only player that can kick the ball like that, but we’ll do what we can”.

A couple of things related to the match tomorrow. Cristiano tweeted his bud Wayne Rooney and said he was looking forward to seeing him. I bet!

rooneyChad Ochocinco – good friend of both Cristiano & Rio Ferdinand – posted a shot of his passport and ticket to Madrid. He’s been talking about going to this since the draw. Marcelo even posted a shot of Ochocinco on his Instagram from the last time he visited the team.

115f776c755c11e2862522000a1f9c96_759c42b82752111e280ff22000a9e2923_7@RMFutbolOnline tweeted this neat poster for tomorrow’s match showing RVP and Cristiano squaring off.
BC85M19CEAEEy8UArgh. I’m completely wiped out now. It’s time for another ice pack on the jaw. I have some bits & bobs but I’ll post them tomorrow pre-match to distract us. G’night all!

– Lozil

2 Responses to “Pre-Champions League Pressers – Mou, Essien, Sir Alex & De Gea”

  1. jellyace February 13, 2013 at 8:04 am #

    I hope Saturday’s Real Madrid shows up tonight!

  2. Ally February 13, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    Fingers crossed for tonight! I’m very excited, and I hope our men are motivated to the core 🙂

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