Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho hailed former Aletico boy Fernando Torres, ahead of the Champions League semi finals against the Spanish team, and refused to comment on Saturday’s controversial loss against Sunderland
With Samuel Eto’o set to miss Tuesday’s clash with the Spanish league leaders, Chelsea could see former Atletico man, Fernando Torres start the match against his old club. Demba Ba is the other option for Mourinho, a player who has done well for the Blues since his all important goal in the quarter final against PSG.
Torres scored 84 league goals for Atletico, his hometown club and remains a hugely popular figure at the Vincente Calderon. Mourinho believes that Torres could produce an exceptional performance against his former club of whom he is a ‘big supporter’.
“The minutes he is on the pitch he is going to try everything for Chelsea, like the professional he is,” said Mourinho.
“I am not saying that Fernando Torres will start, I am saying that he never hides. We feel that every day.
“We talk about Spanish football and he’s a big Atletico supporter, but he’s a professional.”
Mourinho hailed Atletico Madrid, a team which has been having a stellar season so far- top of the league as well as in the semi finals of the elite Champions league.
“I spoke to my team about their qualities and they are a team we respect,” said Mourinho.
“No team arrives at this stage without being a very good team and Atletico are no exception.
“To reach the Champions League semi-finals and to be fighting for the Spanish title, you must be a special team. I have watched them play lots of times, I studied them a lot and tried to make my players ready for what they can do.
“Every player and manager wants to play in the Champions League semi-finals. It is a big motivation for every player and they want to play. Everyone who is fit will be full of motivation.”
When asked if Diego Simeone was a better coach than him, Mourinho said no and thought that the comparisons were unfair:
“I don’t agree.It is difficult to compare coaches; in fact it is not fair to do so. It is not fair to compare someone with 15 years of experience as a coach to one with less than that. It is something that I don’t like to do.”
Chelsea come into this match, on the back of a shocking loss to Sunderland, which has now put them five points behind league leaders Liverpool. Jose Mourinho was a visibly annoyed figure after the particular match as Sunderland’s winning goal was a penalty, which was in fact a very debatable one to give. When asked about his side’s Premier League title quest, the Portuguese did not say much insisting the Blues will focus at the job in hand:
“Today and tomorrow and also Wednesday are Champions League days and if you want to speak about the Premier League you have 19 teams in England that you can speak with,” Mourinho said
“Chelsea today and tomorrow is Champions League and we are only available to speak about Champions League. We are lucky to be involved in the Champions League, so we are lucky that in the next two days we don’t think about the Premier League and what’s happened and what is going to happen because now we only think about tomorrow.”
Mourinho said that Champions League semi finals are difficult to be decided in one game. Hence the second leg which will take place at Stamford Bridge would be of major importance.
‘It is difficult for a Champions League semi-final to be decided in one game,’ Mourinho said
‘It happens sometimes but it is difficult to have a result in the first leg that kills the emotion of the second leg.
‘I don’t know if there is an advantage really. I like to play without thinking too much about it being the first leg away or the second leg away. The first game is here and we know Atletico Madrid will do everything to win the game, but it doesn’t matter too much where you play the game.’