Friday, August 30, 2013

Mourinho and Guardiola renew rivalry

Coaches Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola will renew their rivalry on Friday as Europa League champions Chelsea face Champions League winners Bayern Munich in the Uefa Super Cup in Prague.

Guardiola's Barcelona and Mourinho's Real Madrid competed in some heated encounters for two seasons, but the new Bayern coach played down the rivalry.

"We're here for the players, not the coaches," said Guardiola.

"Millions of people around the world will watch the game, not the coaches."

The Spaniard, who took a year-long sabbatical after leaving Barca at the end of the 2011-12 season, added: "I have a great respect for him, but on Friday I will try to win and so will he too.

"He is always very, very good with quick counter attacks. He is a master at that and everybody knows he is an excellent, excellent trainer."

Guardiola got the better of his counterpart during the 2010-11 La Liga campaign, but Mourinho's side defeated the Catalan giants in the Copa del Rey that season before winning the league title and domestic Super Cup the following year.

However, in Thursday's Uefa Super Cup pre-match news conference, the Portuguese manager was reminded that his record against Guardiola in Spain was only three wins in 15 meetings.

"Your statistics are very wrong," replied Mourinho. "Go and see what happened when I was with Inter in the Champions League semi-final, the King's Cup final with Real in Spain, the Super Cup in Spain [2012].

"Maybe you are right and I am wrong but I don't care. This is not about us, it's about Chelsea and Bayern."
Mourinho, 50, has never won the European Super Cup.

He led Porto and Inter Milan to Champions League success, but left the clubs following the victories. In 2003, his Uefa Cup-winning Porto team lost the 2003 edition to Valencia.
Chelsea's new signings Willian and Samuel Eto'o have not travelled to Prague with the 26-man squad that includes David Luiz (hamstring) and Tomas Kalas (leg), who have not played this season.

Bayern midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger and defensive players Javi Martinez and Jan Kirchhoff face late fitness tests.

Chelsea squad: Cech, Schwarzer, Hilario, Blackman, Ivanovic, Cole, Luiz, Essien, Ramires, Lampard, Torres, Mata, Oscar, Mikel, Moses, Schurrle, De Bruyne, Van Ginkel, Hazard, Lukaku, Ba, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Kalas, Bertrand.


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