Mourinho upbeat ahead of Barça test
Jose Mourinho is confident his Inter Milan team can beat Barcelona in their upcoming UEFA Champions League match. Inter have had a less than spectacular start to the season and made hard work of seeing off Parma today. However, Mourinho believes they will do better when they host the defending champions on Wednesday.
"Will we be starting on equal terms? Yes, of course, at the first minute it will be 0-0," he said. "Barça are a team who have been close sighted for four or five years.
"They have practically always the same players, they change one player for another but it is still the same structure as when they were the Champions of Europe with [former coach Frank] Rijkaard. We have five new players and are building a team, but I think we can win this game."
Wednesday's match will also see the return to the San Siro of Zlatan Ibrahimovic who moved to Barcelona in the summer in a deal in which Samuel Eto'o moved the other way, while Inter also received €45m. Mourinho insists he will welcome back his former charge with open arms, although he acknowledges that he is unsure whether the Inter fans will offer as warm a reaction.
"A player who gave me as much as Ibra will always be in my heart," Mourinho said. "But I am someone who forgets quickly and now I'm thinking about my players. I'm pleased with his work in Barça, but I am very happy with my players.
"He will be welcomed with a super hug by me, I can't know how the fans will welcome him. I will hug him at the beginning of the match, but for the 90 minutes I don't even want to know his name.
"We are opponents, but I don't feel betrayed, thanks to him we are champions of Italy," he said. "He did a lot for Inter and Inter did a lot for him, for me it's equal.
"You can't forget a player like him, I have him in my heart, but I always say that mine are the best."
Mourinho was also asked about former AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti's impressive start to his time in charge at Chelsea, where he has won his opening five games. The former Chelsea manager, who steered the Blues to their first league title for more than half a century in his first season in charge, played down his old adversary's success.
Mourinho responded: "He has beaten my record of opening victories in the Premier League? He can never beat my record, I won a title in England after 55 years."