By Alex Baker
Los Angeles –Jose Mourinho held a press conference at UCLA Friday in advance of Real Madrid’s upcoming friendly with the LA Galaxy at the Rose Bowl on Saturday. Contradictory and ever entertaining, the Portuguese coach caused the room to erupt into laughter several times, at one point interrupting the local ESPN correspondent by telling him, “You look like Steven Spielberg.”
Tanned and self-assured, the self-proclaimed “Special One” spoke at length on a variety of subjects including the culture of Real Madrid and what kind of impact he hoped to have upon it.
“It’s difficult to say because I just arrived but the expectation around the club is huge. Since the first day the expectation for me, for the kids outside, the expectation for everybody is completely different. But you know you know Real Madrid history. It’s Real Madrid history and what they did in the century. But I think it’s time to start writing a new history, because the history of the past two years was not the best.”
Asked what he thought he would need to do to make Real Madrid more successful this term, Mourinho had this to say:
“I will do my part, I will do my best. I will try to motivate people. And I will try to work hard as I always do. After that you need always a little bit of luck and if you have this little bit of luck at the right moment, because everybody needs it, for sure we have to win something because we have quality.”
He also spoke about what we would change about the team.
“When you go to a team and a team has a recent history of not success I think the most important thing is you have clear ideas. You start from zero. You don’t care about what they did. You just care about people to follow you. “
In regard to the team that would face the LA Galaxy Saturday, Mourinho explained:
“We will have twenty-two players. Eleven will play forty-five minutes and the other eleven will play the second forty-five minutes. The players that were in the World Cup that just got here, they will play in the second half. Most are playing with tired legs because they just got off World Cup duty and we have been training very hard.”
Mourinho also offered some insight into the three different systems he has apparently been implementing for his new team
“Each player will have a position within each of the systems and each player will know what their role and responsibilities are in the systems. One of the systems will just have three players in the back. Another will have two central defenders and two other defenders.”
Mourinho then spoke about several of his star players including goalkeeper Iker Casillas, Cristiano Ronaldo and the recently injured, Kaka.
When asked about Ronaldo’s ability to adapt to his style of play, he simply responded, “Cristiano is Cristiano, he will be able to play and show his quality. He won’t have a problem.”
He also spoke at length about Casillas who was recently promoted to team captain.
“What can I say? Great keeper. New captain in absolute terms. I think sometimes when players reach huge success sometimes they sleep a little bit on that success. And I don’t feel it with Casillas. He wants to write new history. He’s too young to sleep on what he did.”
Finally when quizzed at to whether he knew the extent of Kaka’s injury, Mourinho did not hesitate to reply.
“Of course I know. My medical department is lucky because I can speak their language. I’m not a doctor. I don’t have a degree in medicine but in my degree I have to study many of the things they study in medicine and we can speak the same language. I cannot say it’s a dramatic injury because a dramatic injury means he’s finished with his career. This is not a dramatic injury it’s just a difficult injury.”
“What I hope is that til December we do well in La Liga and when Kaka is back we are at the top of La Liga fighting for the championship. We have to be sure that we qualify for the Champions League knockout stage which means when January comes and he can help the team going into the finals.”