Tottenham's Champions League final defeat like a failed moon landing - Mourinho

By Sports Desk November 25, 2019

Jose Mourinho has compared Tottenham's Champions League final defeat last season to an unsuccessful moon landing.

Under the guidance of Mauricio Pochettino, Spurs suffered a 2-0 defeat to Premier League rivals Liverpool in their first ever Champions League final.

Mourinho, who won the Champions League with Porto in 2004 and Inter in 2010, was appointed as Pochettino's successor last week and accepts the defeat to Jurgen Klopp's side might still be having a lingering impact on his new players.

Speaking ahead of his first Champions League clash in charge of Spurs against Olympiacos on Tuesday, Mourinho said: "I love this competition as much as everyone in football. It's something that everybody dreams of winning. Not everyone has the privilege of being a Champions League winner which I was happy enough to do.

"If Mauricio says that [losing the final affected the players] then he's been here and he's sharing his feelings. It's like landing on the moon but you don't do it. Look at Liverpool, who had the frustration of not winning and then the next season they reached the final and won it.

"Every Champions League campaign there are details around your success or failure like how many times I lost on penalties or in the last minute. Details make the difference.

"In my case, the season where I lost the semi-final on penalties [to Bayern Munich in the 2011-12 season] with Real Madrid I think that was the strongest Real Madrid team of the past 15-20 years. We won the league but lost on penalties because three of the best penalty takers in the world, Kaka, [Sergio] Ramos and [Cristiano] Ronaldo, missed. We were the best team.

"As for Spurs last season, they had little details for them. VAR was with them and the Lucas [Moura] goal in Amsterdam. To arrive in the final is an achievement but not history."

Tottenham will qualify for the last 16 with victory over their Greek opponents at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but Mourinho says he will not start thinking about the possibility of getting his hands on the trophy until later in the competition.

"With these boys I will never be afraid of any Champions League match," he added. "We need to qualify. It's only when my teams arrive in the quarter-finals that I start thinking that we have a chance. In this moment we are far from it."

Related items

  • Willian a quality signing but keeping Aubameyang crucial for Arsenal – Ashley Cole Willian a quality signing but keeping Aubameyang crucial for Arsenal – Ashley Cole

    Willian is a quality signing who will improve Arsenal's squad but tying down captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to a new deal remains vital to the Gunners' chances of success, says Ashley Cole.

    Brazil forward Willian made the short hop to Emirates Stadium from Chelsea, ending a seven-year association with the Blues to pen a three-year deal at their London rivals.

    It marks the first signing of the window for head coach Mikel Arteta ahead of what will be his first full season in charge, with the Spaniard – who led Arsenal to FA Cup final glory against Chelsea – aiming to improve on an eighth-place finish in the Premier League.

    Having won five major honours during his time with the Blues, Willian has the sort of pedigree Arsenal are looking for to start competing among the top four again, and potentially earn continental success in the Europa League next term.

    But Cole, who represented both clubs and won the Europa League with Chelsea during his glittering career, says convincing prolific striker Aubameyang to extend a contract that runs out next June remains an important target for Arteta.

    "Firstly, you have to take your hat off to Willian," Cole told Stats Perform News. "He was a great servant for Chelsea. Staying at one club for seven years is not easy, but he's done that and has brought a lot of trophies to Chelsea.

    "He performed very well across those seven years and has been their best player at times this season. At the end of the day, the club decided he can go and he has decided to go to Arsenal.

    "A lot of Chelsea fans will wish him well because he was a great servant and now he's going to help to improve Arsenal's squad.

    "Aubameyang is also a great player and has proved how good he is with his goal ratio this season.

    "He's very important to Arsenal's success this season in the FA Cup and Arteta will of course want his top players to stay while adding some more quality.

    "They've done that with the Willian signing, so Arteta will know he wants to keep him and get in better players to add to that squad. It's important they keep him but that's down to Arteta and Aubameyang."

    Willian's decision to end his time at Chelsea may have been partially influenced by the big-money additions Frank Lampard has been making to his squad.

    Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner arrived from Ajax and RB Leipzig, respectively, while Bayer Leverkusen's attacking midfielder Kai Havertz continues to be linked with a switch to Stamford Bridge.

    Cole, now working at Chelsea as an academy coach, hopes to see exciting talent Havertz at Stamford Bridge as part of a new-look attack.

    "Frank has had a brilliant first season and added two players, and maybe Havertz as well," he added. "Our attacking threat is amazing and the fans will be happy.

    "Hopefully they can add Havertz to make their attacking threat even more potent. It is a young squad, with young players who have top quality and have played in top leagues being added.

    "It's good to see them at Chelsea and hopefully they can quickly integrate into the team ahead of next season."

    Chelsea may have lost the FA Cup final but did manage to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League in Lampard's maiden campaign as boss.

    Former England international Cole is glad to see to see a generation he played with and against given a chance at the top level.

    "As young coaches, you never know until you're put in these situations," he said.

    "Arteta has done a great job in transforming Arsenal into playing good football, making them good to watch.

    "Lampard has done the same with some young players. I think it's a good sign that owners and chairmen are giving young coaches a chance without much experience.

    "But young coaches can't gain experience unless they are given an opportunity."

  • Mourinho: Benfica-bound Vertonghen 'certainly among the best' Mourinho: Benfica-bound Vertonghen 'certainly among the best'

    Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho says Jan Vertonghen is among the best players he has ever worked with and wished the defender well ahead of his imminent move to Benfica. 

    Belgium international Vertonghen confirmed his Tottenham exit last month following eight seasons with the club. 

    The 33-year-old made over 300 appearances for the Premier League side and finished his Spurs career under Mourinho. He is expected to complete a free transfer to Benfica in the near future. 

    Mourinho has wished the centre-back well in Portugal with Benfica, who have confirmed the return of head coach Jorge Jesus ahead of the 2020-21 campaign. 

    "He will be a great man to play in the Portuguese League. A big professional, a silent leader, an example in a work group," Mourinho told Portuguese newspaper Record.

    "Fortunately I've met many throughout my career, but Jan is certainly among the best.  

    "As a player, everyone knows him and the Benfica coach, as well as his structure, certainly analysed everything he can bring to the team.  

    "I wish him to be very happy in my country. At Spurs we'll all be behind a person who is very dear to us."

  • Messi to Inter? Nerazzurri capable of signing Barcelona star, says ex-president Moratti Messi to Inter? Nerazzurri capable of signing Barcelona star, says ex-president Moratti

    Inter owners Suning have the resources to sign Lionel Messi from Barcelona, according to the Italian club's former president Massimo Moratti.

    Barca superstar Messi has been linked with a shock switch to Inter once his contract expires in 2021 after reportedly growing unhappy at Camp Nou.

    That speculation only intensified last month when a picture of the six-time Ballon d'Or winner was projected by the Suning Group onto the Duomo di Milano.

    And Moratti, who brought Ronaldo to Inter and also tried to sign Messi, is confident the Serie A giants will land the Argentina international if they really want him.

    "I'm just a fan and I don't have any confidential news," he told Quotidiano Sportivo.

    "But I know one thing. When it comes to resources and competence, Suning has what it takes to bring Messi to Milan."

    Inter already have a prolific attacker leading their line in the form of Romelu Lukaku, who has scored 31 goals in his first season since joining from Manchester United.

    Moratti suggested at the start of the season Mauro Icardi would be a better option than Lukaku, but he has admitted to being proved wrong by Lukaku.

    "I got it wrong on Lukaku," he said. "In all honesty, I thought he was just physically strong and feared we would regret losing Icardi.

    "Instead, Romelu is a champion, always helps his team-mates and has good vision of the play.

    "Antonio Conte was right to demand his signing and then did so well to improve him."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.