Monday, May 24, 2010

Mourinho Pledges To Smash the Star System At Real Madrid

Times Online: Mourinho pledges to smash the star system to turn Real around.

Jose Mourinho's agent Jorge Mendes met with the Real Madrid director general, Jorge Valdano, yesterday to finalise the four-year contract worth £36m the club have offered the Internazionale coach. While his representative was seeing to the paperwork Mourinho was leaving everyone at the Spanish club in little doubt things will never be the same again, and assuring them they will not have his signature until he is confident there will be no outside interference as he attempts to turn them once more into a European superpower on the pitch.

"I still need to speak with certain people face to face," he said. "Having met with my representative I know the agreement is almost finalised but the decision is mine, not his, so I need to have the impressions of certain people and know exactly what it is they want from me. I want to know what they can offer so that I can begin work without any fear. I am confident I will end up signing."

Mourinho also stressed that from now on the club known for a two-tier class system of superstars and water carriers would have to become a team. He said: "The message to the players will be that they are not the stars. The star is not the coach either, the star is the team."

On the subject of Cristiano Ronaldo, he added: "We are both Portuguese, he is the best player in the world and I am one of the best coaches in the world. I want his support and lots of goals from him next season. I don't think he is very happy after having such a great season and scoring 26 goals in the league and not winning anything.

"No one can criticise Ronaldo if on his holidays he is with Paris Hilton in Los Angeles or if he buys a new Ferrari because someone who trains and plays as he does is from another planet. He is an historic footballer who is only missing the medals to become as great as Pele, Maradona and Di Stefano."

The extensive list of players now being linked with the club has lengthened considerably since the weekend. Mourinho's fondness for the Chelsea trio of Ashley Cole, Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard and his admiration of Liverpool's Steven Gerrard have seen the Premier League quartet join the growing list of possible acquisitions.

He has also been tipped to return to Inter where the likes of Diego Milito, Maicon and Esteban Cambiasso capped excellent seasons with superb Champions League final performances, and to his native Portugal for Benfica's Brazilian central defender David Luiz. But despite new signings being mooted, Mourinho has hinted that he believes he can deliver the 10th European Cup that Real crave with the same players who disappointed last season by finishing without a trophy.

He said: "Kaka and Karem Benzema are top players. I don't think the not very positive seasons they have just had is a big drama. It is something that can be changed. Benzema is only 22 and Kaka is in his prime at 27."

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