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Zenit sign Bart Simpson

The Toe Poke 6 hours ago
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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb 20, 2007

Mourinho: Wenger is under more pressure than me

Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho claimed Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is under more pressure than him to win the Champions League as he prepares to face his former club Porto tomorrow night.

The Blues take on the club Mourinho led to Champions League success three years ago, with the Portuguese insisting he has nothing further to prove as he strives to win Europe's top crown for a second time.

But the Portuguese coach turned up the heat on the Gunners, who they meet in the Carling Cup final on Sunday, by singling out Wenger for a special mention in the build-up to their showdown at the Millennium stadium.

Wenger had already racked up the simmering ill-feeling between the two clubs by claiming UEFA should take a close look at Chelsea's alleged link with Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven, but Mourinho refused to bite when asked to respond.

Instead, he raised the temperature yet further by specifically singling out Wenger when he asked about the pressure of trying to win the trophy again with Chelsea.

Wenger's side lost to Barcelona in the final of the Champions League last season and Mourinho declared: 'If you judge me and I don't win the Champions League, you have to judge every coach in the Champions League who has never won it, because I did it once.

'I am in front of a lot of them. If I have pressure, imagine the other managers in the world? So I don't think it is a big deal.

'We have the ambition, ambition is important. To feel you can do it is very important and to have the desire to want to do it is also crucial.

'But at the same time, we are not kids anymore, we are mature, we are not stupid, we are intelligent, and we know that it is a very difficult competition to win.

'Many great managers in the world have never done it. We have a big example, not far from us.

'Arsene Wenger is a top manager in the world. I am not laughing, I am speaking serious.

'He is a big manager in the world of football and he had never done it. So when I did it once, I can thank god for that. I have that privilege.

'I feel no pressure with Chelsea. I felt more pressure when I was with Porto.

'I am very proud and happy and have nothing else to prove. I will try to win it but don't feel any pressure at all.'

Mourinho is expecting a difficult game against his former club but warned the Portuguese side that the big test will come in the return leg at Stamford Bridge.

Mourinho added: 'I don't have to win the game tomorrow. Chelsea are a very strong team at home.

'We have not lost at home for three years and there have been only three games in which we have never scored.'

Chelsea reached the semi-finals of the competition in his first year before losing out to eventual winners Liverpool by a controversial goal.

Last season they were knocked out by eventual champions Barcelona in the last 16 but Mourinho would not be drawn on whether Chelsea were now in a stronger position to win the trophy than at any other time under his tenure.

He added: 'It's difficult to answer. In my first season everybody knows what happened to us, everybody knows what happened in the semi-final.

'Last season we lost against the new European champions. I don't think that's a big drama. That's part of such a good cup competition.

'This season I cannot say 16 teams are ready to win the Champions League because some of these 16 will have little chance to win it.

'A lot of teams invested strongly on very good players with experience. In this moment you can find a lot of teams with the same chance as us.

'We played in the most difficult group with the European champions and a good German team.

'We won the group and won it with two matches to go.

'We did very, very well and in this moment we feel we are a strong team and we have some chance.'