“Without Ronaldo there would have been no victory over Atletico: Mourinho about the triumph of Juventus, the weakness of Bavaria and the return of Zidane

Without the leadership qualities of Cristiano Ronaldo, the Italian Juventus would not have won the two-game series with Atletico Madrid. About this in an interview with RT said the legendary Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho. He also admired the performance of Lionel Messi, the Barcelona striker, in a game with Lyon, explained the reasons for Bayern’s defeat against Liverpool and told him what difficulties Zinedin Zidane, head coach of Real Madrid, would have to face.


- A week ago, you said that you would not be surprised by the success of Juventus in the confrontation with Atletico. Expected that Cristiano Ronaldo will play such an important role in the victory of the Turin team?

- I think Ronaldo can be called the hero of the week. Yes, it was a fantastic performance of the team. But without his personality and special qualities this would not have been possible. Twice he distinguished himself in his manner, especially considering how hard it is to score Atletico. It was difficult to assume that they would lose 0-3. But Juventus acted bravely, Massimiliano Allegri prepared his players well.

- It was the presence of such a player as Ronaldo allowed not to write off “Juventus” from the accounts?

- Of course, Ronaldo does not guarantee victory in a two-game standoff after a defeat in the first meeting with a score of 0: 2. But with him you can be sure that even in such situations all is not lost.

- Did it surprise you that the defenders of Atletico could not oppose Ronaldo with anything?

- One of the reasons for this is its versatility. In different stages of his career, he spoke in different positions. So, he began as a pure winger (extreme forward), and in Real Madrid, he began to shift to the center much more often. It was during this period that he scored an incredible amount of beautiful balls. In the past few years in Madrid, he was the second striker, but now he has tried on the role of the “spearhead”. He does much less running work, but his ability to find points for a blow is amazing.

- Can we say that Ronaldo has also changed in mental terms?

- I caught him in that period when he wanted to score every minute and didn’t like it if they took away this opportunity. It did not matter who our opponent was. Now he accepts the fact that he should demonstrate his maximum only in a few important meetings. So, he did not go on the field in a match with “Udinese”, and in the game with “Atletico” appeared in stunning form.

- In the debut of the second half, Ronaldo for the second time upset Jan Clouds and equalized the score in a series of two matches. Do not you think that this particular goal became a decisive role in this confrontation?

- Yes, if we need to choose one episode, then this very moment will include everything: an excellent transfer, a header and the excellent work of the video help system to the referees. Sometimes it gives us doubts, but this time everything was phenomenal. In a linear judge and an ordinary person there is practically no way to accurately determine whether the ball crossed the goal line in this case. A shell hit the right hand of the Cloud, whose body was in the field. This is the purpose of VAR, which puts everything in its place.

- Why was Atletico so helpless in the second leg against Juventus?

- Diego Simeone's wards were well defended, but they didn’t have enough Diego Costa to play on the counter. Despite the fact that this season he is experiencing problems due to injuries, he is very important for the team from a psychological and tactical point of view. The Spaniard is able to lead his partners for themselves, cling to the ball, stretch the line of defense of the opponent. Antoine Griezmann and Alvaro Morata are forwards of a different type.

- In another match, “Liverpool” at a party confidently beat “Bavaria”. A week ago you called the German club a favorite of this confrontation ...

- My analysis was based on the traditions of football. The last time "Bavaria" did not pass in the quarterfinals in the season 2010/11. Usually they are very strong at home. In the Bundesliga, they beat Borussia and it seemed to me that these positive emotions would help them succeed in the Champions League. On the second side of the scale was Liverpool, who lost points in two of the last four meetings in the Premier League, missed the lead in the standings. But in this match, they showed their best game of the season in the Champions League. They were not so convincing in the group stage.

- Can this success affect their performance in the Championship of England?

- Perhaps from a psychological point of view, they are reborn. It was not just a victory, and it is likely that these emotions will be able to help them in the fight for the championship in the Premier League. They dominated the field, scored at a key moment, and in the second half showed their superiority again and distinguished themselves again. It was sad to see Bavaria.

- Do you think that Bayern could not cope with the pressure from Liverpool?

- They did not cope with their rival. They formed large gaps between the lines: Lewandowski was alone, there was no pressure in the midfield zone. Hammes Rodriguez lost contact with the attackers, and David Alaba could not create anything on the left. In addition, the field was absent Jozua Kimmich, who is a very important player for the “Bavaria”.

- After the game, Bayern coach Nico Kovacs admitted that Liverpool deserved to win ...

- Sometimes we, coaches, look for excuses for ourselves, but Niko was objective with respect to himself.

- What does the coach feel in such situations?

- I think sometimes we have to evaluate our work. Before the game starts, we think that we are doing everything right. With the starting whistle, there comes a time when we see if this is so. And if not, you need to take control of your emotions and change the course of the meeting. But yesterday it was not easy, because Liverpool was much better than the opponent.

- In a match with Lion, Barcelona striker Lionel Messi scored twice himself and acted as an assistant two more times. Do not you think that this way he was trying to outshine Ronaldo?

- Messi is a special player. Recently, he has always acted as the main contender for the title of "Football Player of the Week." If it were not for the show performed by Cristiano, Lionel would be the first again.

- In your opinion, they were lucky to be born in one generation?

- Yes and no. They can compete, take an example from each other. But if now only one of them existed, he would become the owner of the Golden Ball every year. I think they raised the bar very high. Therefore, Neymar, Kilian Mbappé and Antoine Griezmann, whom I call the “little monsters”, must be incredibly motivated. After all, Ronaldo and Messi will not play forever.

- Despite the impressive performance of Messi, you called Ronaldo the main character of the week ...

- Not only me. Of course, it was possible to do otherwise, but his performance, goals and psychological stability helped him to win this title. I just could not do otherwise. Juventus is the team of the week, Allegri is the coach, Cristiano must be the hero. He is more than a leader - a person who gives all of himself and leads his partners. Without Ronaldo, there would be no victory over Atletico.

- This week it became known that Zinedine Zidane is returning to the coaching bridge of Real Madrid after 10 months of absence. What are the challenges facing the coach, who again comes to such a big club?

- On the one hand, you already know this team and do not waste time getting to know the players. From this point of view, the coach is a little easier, but at the same time he cannot forget about his past achievements. He thinks he can repeat it.

- Did you feel like coming back to Chelsea?

- Then I felt the responsibility I had to win the submarine again. It seems to me that they will demand more from Zidane, remembering what the team has achieved with him. This is additional pressure.

- What tasks will Zidane have at the helm of Real?

- In the "Real" there is a basis consisting of football players who have played side by side for several years. In his first period of work at the club, he showed great results with them. Now he has to do what he didn’t do before - to build a team. At the beginning of the next season, he is to conduct a transfer company and develop a development strategy, with the aim of returning the team to its previous level.

- Usually clubs have a lot of pressure on coaches if things go wrong. Does he have enough time to realize his plans?

- These are the realities of the modern game. Now on the relationship in the team affects the outside world. Yes, he will feel the pressure from fans who will actively express their opinions on social networks. Therefore, for coaches everything is not so simple.

- Returning to the Champions League. The names of all quarterfinalists of the tournament are already known. In your opinion, which of them is the strongest team at the moment?

- I said that each of the participants in the quarter finals has 12.5% ​​of the chance to win. Even those whom we did not expect to see there, for example, Ajax and Porto. Now the Dutch and the Portuguese understand that anything can happen in this tournament. They talk about the main contenders for success, you can always call such teams as "Barcelona", which is the leader of the Spanish Examples, advanced to the Cup final of the country and has Lionel Messi. This also includes Juventus, the first Italian team. Do not forget about the four clubs from the Premier League, which regularly compete with each other.

- If you could choose, then the matches between which teams would like to see in the quarter-finals of the Champions League?

- First of all, battles between English clubs. I would not like to talk about something concrete, but their internal confrontation would be interesting. This would mean that the two teams are guaranteed to go to the semifinals. Secondly, a meeting between Ajax and Porto. Getting to the next stage would be of great importance for both Dutch and Portuguese football.

- What about the match between Juventus and Barcelona?

- I would not want such a confrontation to fall on the quarter-finals. I think it is more suitable for the later stages of the tournament. Two amazing teams that in recent years have not achieved success in the Champions League, but have in their roster two great players - Ronaldo and Messi.

ref: russiart

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