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Jun 1, 2010

Mourinho: Champions League is Real target

New Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho has made winning the Champions League the number one priority for the Spanish club.

• Mourinho unveiled as Real boss
• Adams: A match made in heaven?
• Forum: How long with Jose last?

Los Blancos have not won Europe's top prize since 2002, despite spending millions of euros season after season.

Last summer Real lavished €252 million on new faces, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Karim Benzema and Xabi Alonso, but still failed to win any major silverware.

The club have missed out on the La Liga title in each of the last two seasons to fierce rivals Barcelona, but it was their failure to reach this year's Champions League final, hosted at their home ground, that proved to be the biggest disappointment.

And Mourinho, who secured his second European Cup just nine days ago as he led Inter Milan to a 2-0 victory over Bayern Munich, has vowed to put that right as he also chases a personal goal.

The 47-year-old has set his sights on making history by becoming the first man to win the Champions League with three different clubs, and he wants to accomplish that feat sooner rather than later at his new club.

"I won the Champions League during my second years at Porto and Inter. I reached the semi-finals twice with Chelsea," Mourinho told Real Madrid's official website. "I believe it is the top championship, the hardest of all. We know our challenge here is difficult, but we must be calm as we work.

"I don't like to shield myself in the idea that we need a long time in order to work well. I like to take on a challenge without fear and aggressively. This is why my main objective is to win.

"The magnitude of this club doesn't frighten me. It won't be an easy challenge, but I am anxious to take it on. I am very excited to begin working here."

Mourinho also said that he will look to strengthen the Madrid squad ahead of his first season in charge and wasted no time pinpointing the positions in which he will recruit.

"Real has a right-back that I like very much in Sergio Ramos,'' Mourinho told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser. "But in my way of thinking, I believe he can be better as a central defender so we might need a right-back.

"I also would like to have an alternative left-back to Marcelo. Marcelo has his characteristics but Real needs a balanced squad, different players for each position. I would like a left-back that has different characteristics to Marcelo.

"Real must reach the final of each competition, regardless of whether we win or not, and for that reason, you must have different players for each position.

"Right now, I have a young team with quality players. Real always looks for excellence and they find quality players.''

Madrid's midfield has been considered by the club's fans throughout the season as their biggest weakness.

"The midfield line is very important,'' Mourinho said. "It's difficult to find a complete player in central midfield. You have less players box to box. You have more number 10s and defensive midfielders.

"But it's very difficult to find a player in midfield right now that is complete.''

As to who the best midfielder in the world is, Mourinho said: "It's difficult to choose who the best is because they play in different football cultures.

"You can't say that (Chelsea's Frank) Lampard will score 30 goals in Serie A or in the Primera Division but in England he averages 28 goals per season, which is incredible.

"You cannot say either that (Barcelona pair) Xavi or Andres Iniesta will perform with the same quality if they were to go to the Premier League or Serie A.''

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