Mourinho channels Einstein
The theory of relativity might be beyond the grasp of most modern footballers but Jose Mourinho has still drawn on the wisdom of Albert Einstein to inspire Real Madrid ahead of their Champions League tie with Barcelona on Wednesday evening.
Madrid host Barca in the first leg of the semi-final having defeated Pep Guardiola's side in the final of the Copa del Rey last week. However a 1-1 draw at home in the first of four Clasicos in 18 days virtually ensured that the Catalans will take the Primera Division trophy, meaning progression in Europe remains essential.
The club from the heartland of Spain have beaten Barca twice before at the semi-final stage, going on to win the competition in both 1960 and 2002, and Mourinho has stressed to his side that they should take into account Einstein's teachings on the nature of 'will' as they prepare for Wednesday's much-anticipated contest.
Mourinho said: "I told my players there was someone called Albert, Albert Einstein, who said that there is a force more powerful than steam, electricity and atomic energy - will. And this guy Albert was not stupid.''
Though Mourinho enjoyed success in the Copa del Rey final when winning 1-0 at Valencia's Mestalla stadium, and famously eliminated Barca at the semi-final stage when Inter manager last season, he will not allow himself to grow complacent, particularly given the memorable thumping Real suffered at Camp Nou earlier this season.
"They (Barca) are a top team with a top coach and everything is possible," Mourinho said. "I am exactly the same coach who lost 5-0 to Barcelona and I don't have any magic potion.
"These are two teams that know each other well, with tradition, with players who know success and what it means to play important games. My opinion is that there are no favourites. In a semi-final with two legs there are no favourites."
Mourinho also said he does not have a "magic potion'' to defeat Barca, even though he masterminded Inter Milan's success over the Catalan club in last season's Champions League semi-finals as well as last week's cup victory with Madrid.
He also helped Madrid end a run of five successive defeats against their bitter rivals when they drew 1-1 in the league 10 days ago despite playing almost the entire second half with only 10 men.
"I don't have a magic potion to beat Barcelona. I work very hard and very seriously, and I spend many hours trying to help the people around, but a few months ago we lost 5-0 (at the Nou Camp) and I was the manager then,'' he said.
"We played a good match (against Barca) at the Bernabeu in the league and we also played a good match in Valencia (6-3 win on Saturday), but tomorrow we are facing a top opponent with a top coach.''
Regarding Wednesday's match, Mourinho admits only after the final whistle will he be able to say whether a draw is a good result. "It depends on the match. If we play very well and have a lot of goalscoring opportunities and are better than our opponents, and we manage to draw, then I wouldn't be happy about that.
"But if Barca come here and play better, have more goalscoring chances and are nearly about to win the match and they deserve to win the match, and then we get a draw, then perhaps I will be happy then.''