Mourinho tipped for second-season joy
Ricardo Carvalho has warned Barcelona that Real Madrid will be even more competitive next term, claiming coach Jose Mourinho always raises the bar in his second season at a club.
Mourinho has often made the same claim and his record at Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan would appear to back up the notion.
Indeed, the Portuguese won the UEFA Champions League in his second campaign in both his homeland and Italy, as well as domestic trophies, while he picked up a league and cup double at Chelsea following an admittedly successful debut term in London.
And having claimed a Copa del Rey title in his first year at the Santiago Bernabeu, Carvalho says Mourinho is ready to lead his current side to greater things in 2011/12.
"He always wants to improve, from the first day and every day," the former Chelsea defender told reporters on Real's pre-season tour in Los Angeles.
"With him you learn every day. His second years are better than his first because the players know each other better - it already happened at Porto and Chelsea."
Meanwhile, Carvalho hopes Kaka can find his best form following two disappointing and injury-ravaged seasons at the Bernabeu.
The 33-year-old said: "We know he had a difficult season because of his injury. He is coming back, he is looking good, we all know his quality and I hope he can reach his best to help us [next season]."