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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep 11, 2006

Mourinho promises not to quit Chelsea

Jose Mourinho launches his European campaign on Tuesday with a promise that he will not walk out on Chelsea if he wins the Champions League.

Mourinho won the European Cup with Porto in 2004 and immediately left the club for Chelsea.

There have been suggestions he could quit Chelsea in the same manner if he lands the trophy at the end of the season.

Mourinho said: 'It is not correct. I made one mistake in Porto and that was to leave when I was European champion.

'I could have won the Inter-Continental Cup and I didn't.

'If I win the Champions League again, I want to win the Inter-Continental Cup and not gift it to another manager to win it.'

Mourinho wants to win the European Cup and then beat the South American champions, so he can call his team the best in the world.

First, the Blues must win the Champions League and they have been drawn in a tough group with Barcelona, Werder Bremen and Levski Sofia.

Mourinho admits his team have the class to win the competition after signing Andriy Shevchenko and Michael Ballack but claims at least 10 others can say the same.

He named Real Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Lyon, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan and AC Milan as potential winners.

And he thinks Inter Milan have the strongest squad in world football after signing Patrick Vieira, Hernan Crespo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Mourinho said: 'When you speak about the players Chelsea bought, I think it's correct to say Chelsea should be stronger and should be contenders for the competition.

'But we you should not forget the other teams. You have a minimum of 10 teams who can win it.

'Inter Milan, in terms of numbers and quality, have the best squad in the world at the moment.

'We have a squad of 19 and some of the 19 are kids. They don't have a team for the future, they have a team for now.'

Mourinho insists he is one of the few managers in European football who invites pressure by talking openly of his Champions League ambitions.

The Chelsea manager said: 'We want to win it but I think all the others want to win it.

'We say we want to win it but not many of the others say it.

'They prefer to be in their quiet corner without pressure but they have the same potential.

'I can live with pressure. I don't say I like it but I can live with it.

'I am one of the 10 favourites and, if we finish third in the group and go into the UEFA Cup, we will be the favourites for the UEFA Cup.

'It is true but I don't want the UEFA Cup, I want the Champions League.'

Chelsea's first European game of the season is at home to Bundesliga runners-up Werder Bremen tomorrow.

Mourinho thinks Werder were the strongest of the teams in the pot of third seeds when the draw was made.

Chelsea were among the second seeds, despite winning the Premiership for the last two seasons, and it is a fact which still irritates the manager.

Mourinho said: 'For three consecutive seasons, we have had the European champions in our group. First Porto, then Liverpool and now Barcelona. It is never easy for us.

'Chelsea need to be first seeds. Why? Because they will have an easier group.

'If you have easier group matches they are not so competitive and you end the group phase with fewer yellow cards.

'If the group is difficult, the games have a lot of tension and you finish the group with a lot of yellow cards for the knock-out phase.

'And how can you be first seeds? Only by being European Champions.'

Werder have stuttered after a good start to their domestic season and they arrived in London with injury problems, including a doubt over star striker Miroslav Klose.

The Germans were knocked out of their domestic cup on penalties by third division Pirmasens last weekend.

Mourinho said: 'I don't think they will be afraid of us. It's not a word you can apply to high-level football.

'If you are talking about a small team with inexperienced players you can use it.

'Werder Bremen are a good team in Germany with international players playing for their countries and playing in the World Cup.

'These players are not afraid. The manager is not afraid. I think they will respect us.'

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