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Mourinho: Best loss of my life

2010-04-29 13:05

Barcelona - Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho described his team's qualification for the Champions League final as the greatest moment of his life.

Inter beat Barcelona 3-2 on aggregate in their semi-final despite losing the second leg 1-0 and playing an hour of the game at the Nou Camp with 10 men.

Mourinho's Inter, who won the first game 3-1 last week, will face Bayern Munich in the final on May 22 in Madrid.

"It's the greatest moment of my career," said Mourinho. "For the players, me, the fans, it's the greatest."

Despite Gerard Pique's 84th-minute goal, defending champions Barcelona were unable to find the crucial second goal as 10-man Inter held on, breathing a sigh of relief when Bojan Krkic had a stoppage-time effort chalked off for handball.

Inter will be playing in their first European Cup final since 1972 while Mourinho will attempt to lead the Italian giants to Europe's most prestigious prize for the first time since 1965.

"It's been 38 years since Inter played in the final. This is not a team of young players who can wait 15 years to make the final - they will not have another 10 opportunities to play in one.

"Against Barcelona, it's difficult with 11 players but with 10, it's an historic achievement to win like this. It's the most beautiful defeat of my life."

Mourinho's side survived the first half dismissal of Thiago Motta to blunt Barca's famous cutting edge where even Lionel Messi, with the exception of one first-half chance, was largely anonymous.

"The season doesn't finish here," warned Mourinho, whose team are also in pole position to defend their Italian league title.

"We have five games left in all competitions. Tonight we will party, tomorrow we will sleep and after that prepare to face Lazio on Sunday.

"I ask the fans for another favour - come to Milan airport and welcome this splendid team home. Come to Rome on Sunday for the game with Lazio and then come to the Italian Cup final next Wednesday.

"I was close to the fans when I was at Chelsea, but I am even closer to the Inter fans. I love Inter and the supporters, but not Italian football. I respect it, but I don't love it."

Inter's Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder paid tribute to Mourinho.

"The coach was screaming in the dressing room, it was very emotional," he said.

"We defended with 10 men for so long. We were compact, fought for every metre and gave everything. Mourinho always gets his tactics right to destroy the opponents.

"We did it in Milan and we did it again tonight but in a different way."

Barcelona president Joan Laporta appealed to the fans to get behind the team in their darkest hour.

"Today, it was our turn to suffer the cruel side of football," said Laporta.

"Now we must recover our morale for La Liga (where Barcelona are battling Real Madrid for the title). Now, more than ever, we have to support this team.

"I expected Inter to be defensive. It was hard to break down their two defensive lines. They made it very hard for us."

Inter Milan midfielder Javier Zanetti praised the character of his side after they overcame an intimidating atmosphere at the Nou Camp.

"This result was down to the spirit we have. We worked hard to deal with the tough reception that we received and we were able to cope. Now we are in the final and we can concentrate on that," said the Argentine.

Inter striker Samuel Eto'o admitted it took something special to beat the side he left last summer.

"It was extremely difficult and it felt like it was never going to end but we always knew what we wanted and how to beat a fantastic team like Barcelona. We managed to win against the best team in the world."

Barcelona midfielder Yaya Toure was critical of the Italian style.

"We couldn't do anything with the way the opposition played and the referee didn't help us, he is human and can make mistakes," he said.

"Inter stayed back and defended and the result is sad for the fans and the team."

AFP

Comments
  • REALIST - 2010-04-29 13:19

    yaya toure is a lying cheat and a idiot barcelona basically played with 14(there 11 + ref and linesmen) and he says the referee was against them , he talks a lot of BS. you overrated ivory coast doos.

  • B. - 2010-04-29 13:38

    It was the best anti-football game I watched in my life!! :)

  • Dutch Man - 2010-04-29 13:54

    well it was a great game of football as tactical as it was i enjoyed watching Barca trying to penetrate the iron defence of inter....Come the final the game will be more open as inter will have to go for a goal.For the first time in a long time we finally have an interesting all european final with 2 good european sides...no disrespect to the other finals, but watching a final with an english team in it is just not as exciting as watching a european final with say inter vs bayern....any of these teams can win it for me i dont mind altough something is pulling me towards bayern for some reason.one comment though on supersport presenter sean bartlett.... why the hell would you only want one semifinal game... the reason we watch champions leage is because of the home and away system, there is nothing more exciting than watching a team come back from 3-0 down to book a place in the final....i think if you only did one semi final game in a neutral arena then you will instantly kill the tournament.

  • Tshadayi Nims - 2010-04-29 13:55

    Inter showed strong character, so is their coach Bravo Murinho!

  • Supafly - 2010-04-29 14:26

    I still believe that Barca are still by far the best team around, but the beauty of this game is that, nothing is ever cast in stone, which is what sets it apart from any other sporting code in entrtainment value. I've argued before that Messi is not the football magician evryone's been trying to make us believe. Messi doesn't make Barca, it's more the other way round. My point is very simple, when Ronaldo (Portugal) was at UTD, he almost single handedly caried UTD. When Ronaldo (Brazil) was at PSV and ultimately, he was carrying the team with his perfomances and goals. When Rivaldo, when Zidane were at Barca and Juventus plus Madrid, respectively, they each carried (when they were not pumping, U always got a feelin that the team wasn't performing) their respective teams. Messi who? Messi is fairly (avaragely) talented player who's lucky enough to be surounded by brilliant playmakers in Iniesta and Xavi who are backed by terrific defensive midfielders in Toure and Malian defemder and a gud defence. Put Messi in any other team, he won't C the light of day. All he has to at Barca is to shine, period! That's the long and the short of it.

  • sizwe - 2010-04-29 14:55

    B. I agree with you 100%, Inter played an anti-football game

  • bo - 2010-04-29 15:18

    @Realist, you are such an idiot...you know nothing about football. Did you watch the first leg? Everyone including their dog complained that the ref crucified Barca. This ref did not support anyone, he was neutral, otherwise he would have let Bojan's goal stand and Barca go through to the final. You such an idiot my friend, Yaya Toure is 10 times the player you can ever dream of being...jealous scum

  • Themba Khumalo - 2010-04-29 15:23

    I thoroughly enjoyed the game and I really wanted Barcelona to lose. However, to call Yaya Toure an over-rated Ivory Coast doos stinks of penis-envy. The young man is very, very good at what he does. Mourinho is a fantastic tactician and motivator. He will leave a huge legacy at Inter just as he did at Chelsea. The bacbone of the current Chelsea side is still Mourinho's team.

  • Africano - 2010-04-29 15:47

    "Realist": Ever thought of changing your name to "Racist"? Your ranting says it all...

  • Abrey - 2010-04-29 16:17

    wOW! This was the best 10 men defends that I have seen in a long time. Nobody with 10 men stops Messi and Barcelona. That fact made this game so good, because Inter was able to proof us wrong. And the coach, as arrogant as he is, he remains the special 1 of football, love him or hate him. Well done Inter, you have shown plenty of other teams on how to do it with 10 men.

  • dumie - 2010-04-29 19:42

    It was sad for barcelona fans and players to lose, but it was good for the game of football.definately It would be boring to see one team winning everything without a challenge.after that defaet barcelona would never be the same again, Madrid is likely to rule spain and the world next season, juss mark my words

  • REALIST - 2010-04-30 10:08

    bo and Africano did you guys read the article or just my comments. toure says the referee was not on there side bullshit.1 was never ever ever a red card.2 everytime anyone went near messi ref gave a free kick to barcelona.3 Barcelona goal pique was miles offside. 4 the bojan goal was to blatant not to give handball. my comment was not racist at all becasue the entire barcelona team are cheats and yaya toure is extremely overrated. fact and that is not because he is balck.Fact

  • bart - 2010-05-19 14:58

    Realist u r a racist fool to think that Yaya is overated , my friend we are talking about the best defence midlefielder playing for Barca not some mickey mouse club u r supporting

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