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Jan 23, 2013

Mourinho: You have to wait for UCL

Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho says his side have to "wait" for the Champions League title, while revealing his difficulties in choosing which of Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema should start in his first XI.

Real have not won the trophy since 2001 and, after Mourinho conceded this season's La Liga title to Barcelona, has become the focus for the capital club.

"Real Madrid waited I don't know how long for the seventh [European Cup]. It was win, win, win with De Stefano up to six," Mourinho told RMC radio. "Inter also invested a lot to win, and had to wait to win it. You have to wait for it."

One of the main concerns for Mourinho as he prepares to face Manchester United in the last-16 of the Champions League is who to play up front, with both Benzema and Higuain having started nine games as they have been rotated.

"He has the talent, everyone knows that," Mourinho said of Benzema. "After that, it's the encouraging him to get the things in his game he thinks he doesn't need. Tracking back, working defensively. I have to demand that. The only problem is that of a big club where you cannot just have one great centre-forward, and you need at least two.

"For both Higuain and Benzema it's difficult for them to know they won't play every game. I think competition is important. Sometimes it can give a player frustration. He wants to play 90 minutes, he wants to play every game. It's a problem of frustration at times. When we play against Manchester, Karim and Higuain both want to play. Sometimes we play with both, but other times our system means we can't play with both. It's a situation you need to learn to deal with."

Real's clash with United is top of the bill for the last 16 and it is a game which Mourinho is relishing.

"It's fantastic. I prefer that," he said. "I have a house in England, I go there often with my family. I go to a lot of stadiums in England, and when you have to work, I go there. My brother [friend] Ferguson is a fantastic example. He's 71, he comes to see my team at Madrid. So I have to go and see his."

Mourinho also reiterated his desire to return to the Premier League at some point in the future, with many reports linking him to the hotseat at Old Trafford and also to take charge of the Portugal national side.

"England for me, I know it, I like it a lot and would like to return," he said. "I had three-and-a-half years at Chelsea only. I want to go back to England one day to work. I don't have a priority though. I live from day to day, I think about the upcoming game, that's the life of a coach.

"Portugal is my home. After my experience at Porto, I wanted a different career. It was the moment to leave in 2004. I'll go back one day. Not for a club. For the national side or to go home when I've finished. I would like to be national team coach one day.

"The Portuguese people are waiting for that, I think. And I want to live that experience, coach my country and go through a World Cup or a European Championship. I almost did it with England in 2007 or 2008. But for me, the national team, it's Portugal. I can never say never, but I think it'll be with Portugal."

Mourinho also spoke about Zinedine Zidane's transition to coach Madrid's youth academy, which will happen once the France legend completes his management qualifications.

"I'm happy for him, because I think he now knows what he wants to do," said Mourinho. "He's a football man, a very intelligent player. If he can transfer the intelligence he had as a player to the dug-out and study to be a coach too.

"To be coach, when you're a great player, you have to be a great coach. You cannot have a great career, and then not be a great coach. I think in that case it's better not to be a coach. I think Zizou has the capacity to do that [ia great coach]."

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