Jose Mourinho has insisted winning the UEFA Champions League is all that matters to Real Madrid ahead of Wednesday's semi-final, first leg away to Borussia Dortmund.
Los Merengues' quest to conquer Europe for the tenth time is an obsession, while their Portuguese coach is bidding to win the trophy with his third different team after Porto and Inter Milan, in 2004 and 2010 respectively.
"Madrid are one of those clubs where finishing second counts for nothing," declared Mourinho. "So we have to reach the final and then win that."
Real last won the Champions League in 2002, but since then Barcelona, who face Bayern Munich in Tuesday's other semi-final, first-leg, have earned a few envious looks from Madrid's direction by winning the tournament three times, in 2006, 2009 and 2011.
Real's Mesut Ozil, who was born in Gelsenkirchen, home of Dortmund's arch-rivals Schalke, has said he wants to help win the semi-final to fulfil his dream of finally reaching a European final.
"I have been with Real Madrid for three years now and it is the third time we are in the semis," said the 24-year-old Germany midfielder. "Now we finally want to reach the final."
Mourinho anticipates attacking encounter
While Dortmund are eyeing a second European Cup decider, 16 years after beating Juventus in Munich to win the 1997 trophy, Madrid are aiming for their 13th final appearance overall. Dortmund took four points off Real in the group stage, winning 2-1 at the Signal Iduna Park in October before drawing 2-2 in Madrid in the return, when Ozil scored a late equaliser.
"All four goals we conceded against Dortmund were mistakes by us," admitted Mourinho. "We hope we will not concede that many goals in the next games."
Mourinho expects an attacking game from both sides, with Dortmund's Polish striker Robert Lewandowski in outstanding form having scored in each of his last 12 Bundesliga matches.
"When I hear Jurgen Klopp say that he does not want to focus too much on the way Real Madrid is playing, I believe that he will play a very attacking game and Dortmund will run and fight for every ball," said Mourinho.
Having been forced to play second-fiddle to Barcelona in La Liga this season, Mourinho says he wants a convincing display from his team as they bid to reach the Champions League final on 25 May in London.
"This team has great players who give everything they have and they deserve to win this competition," he said. "With a few exceptions, none of them have won the Champions League so far and hope they can because they deserve to do so."