Mourinho: My players help refs

Real Madrid, often criticised for harassing and criticising match officials, always want to co-operate with referees and try to make their lives easier, coach Jose Mourinho has said.


Forced to break a media silence by Champions League rules, Mourinho was keen to remind his listeners that Real had reached the last four twice in a row under his leadership, breaking a sequence of early exits before he arrived.

A frequent critic of referees, Mourinho said he had no special concerns at the appointment for Englishman Howard Webb for Tuesday's Champions League semi-final first leg at Bayern Munich.

"Real Madrid have good relations with all referees," he said, giving typically laconic answers.

"We hope they do their job their well and the Real Madrid players, as always, will try to help the referee do his work calmly, hoping that their decisions are right.

"But we know that they can make mistakes and those mistakes can decide who gets the three points," added Mourinho, who generally avoids news conferences in La Liga.

Mourinho then had a snipe at Bayern's array of officials, former players and coaches who had all expressed confidence in a win for the Bavarians.

"You hear or read top-of-the-line people such as Franz Beckenbauer, Ottmar Hitzfeld and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge," he said.

"They are all of the same opinion that Real Madrid are not a good team and they are favourites and that we have some sort of complex," he said with a clear dose of sarcasm.

"So, yes, I think we are the ones who are outsiders."

"Bayern are a very good team with a fantastic coach, very good players and it's a very strong institution, big football club with big institutional power."

Real fell at the last-16 stage for six seasons in a row before Mourinho arrived at the Bernabeu.

"We have the extra motivation of playing in the semi-finals for the second successive season," he said.

"Real Madrid has not got to this stage for a long time and, in two seasons, we have got to two semi-finals with one loss in 22 games, and that is a game which has a story," he added, referring to last season's semi-final first leg defeat at home to Barcelona.

"We have nothing to lose," he said. "The only thing we can lose this year is the Copa del Rey, which is ours. La Liga and the Champions League are not ours, so we can only win them."

Mourinho said he had no concerns about his team.

"I have no doubts for tomorrow, I know who is playing, who is going to be on the bench and who will be in the stands, it's one of the games in which I don't have any doubt."

"I have thought so much about it and worked so hard for it that I have no absolutely no doubt, it's an easy decision."

He was dismissive of Real's achievement in equalling the club's Spanish record of 107 goals scored in a season, a feat they achieved at the weekend.

"They are numbers which have no meaning. They are historic numbers and history does not count tomorrow."

Having answered questions in Spanish, English and Italian, the Portuguese coach said the German language would prevent him from ever working in the Bundesliga.

"I don't work in a country where I need this," he said, tapping his earphones. "It's impossible for me. Communication is important and the German language is one over which I have no grasp. It's very difficult for me."

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