March 19, 2011
Mourinho: "I will use the best possible team to win the derby"
"The respect we have for fans doesn't allow us to joke around in the derby. We will give our all at the Calderon and we'll see if that's enough. We wil try to showcase our quality. We are very motivated because it will be a very important match. Games preceding a Champions League match are difficult because you risk losing focus. Games following a a Champions League match are different and usually tinged by physical and phsyocological exhaustion. They are equally dangerous. The derby will be tough because we'll face a great team, but it will also be easier to play because everyone will give their all."
"Benzema is working very well. He has transformed himself. The merit belongs to him, to his teammates and to those who love him. Very little of it belongs to me and Zidane. Most of it is his. I'm very happy. I've always said he is a fantastic kid and it is a pleasure to see him perform the way he does now."
"Zidane's relationship with the players is growing. He isn't working full time yet, but we're are thinking about the possibility of him doing so. We've never hidden the fact that we are very comfortable and that our collaboration is good. He's helped Karim because there are certain similarities in their careers: they both had to arrive and adapt."
"Pepe is aggressive, but loyal. I don't think it's fair for everyone to watch him so closely. Cristiano would be fitter to play if the derby took place on Sunday. It's only natural he's not in top form after missing so many training sessions and playing 70 minutes against Lyon. Playing him would be a risk."
"I'm happy to face Tottenham because it will give me the chance to return to London and play at an English stadium again. I know how English teams think and I know their character; how they give blood, sweat and tears in every minute of every game. They defeated Inter Milan and eliminated AC Milan. They are having a great run in the Premiership and they've got a great coach."