Mourinho relishing Bayern clash
Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho is looking forward to facing Bayern Munich after his side comfortably saw off Apoel Nicosia 8-2 on aggregate to progress to the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League.
Mourinho was happy to have had the opportunity to rest some players ahead of a difficult month, while also seeing Jose Maria Callejon and Angel Di Maria score on their return from injury in the 5-2 second-leg win.
He said: "Bayern is a very powerful opponent. It is a team I know well as it is almost the same side that I played when coach of Inter Milan in the Champions League final two years ago and they have great individual players. The players and myself are looking forward to what should be a great semi-final.
"The team is doing well, the players that were injured are getting there and we are physically prepared for the difficult April that we have. We wanted to build a team to win the game. Because I didn't think it was possible for Apoel to score four, we wanted to rest a few players and we attempted to balance things.
"We wanted to rest Marcelo and (Esteban) Granero so we substituted them and there might have been a few defensive errors towards the end, but I don't have any criticism, just positive words for a group that have reached this stage for two seasons in a row."
Mourinho was full of praise for his side's Cypriot opponents, who he said had achieved more than anyone else in this season's competition. "I think in a few years people in Cyprus will realise what Apoel have done, it is the biggest achievement in Champions League this season," Mourinho added.
"If Barcelona, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich win it's not the same achievement as for Apoel to reach the quarter-final."
Former Chelsea boss Mourinho does not hold out much hope for his former side when they face Barcelona in the other semi-final. Asked why he had told Telemadrid that the Catalans would advance, he said: "Because they are very good. Barcelona aren't the favourites, they are super-favourites."
He added: "Let me be honest, I don't think the final will be a Real Madrid/Chelsea final. It could be Bayern or Barcelona, I just don't think it will be Real Madrid v Chelsea and we know why."
Apoel coach Ivan Jovanovic reflected on the end of a great journey for his side, but declared his pride at having reached the last eight for the first time in the club's history. "We're the only team at this stage in the competition to have started on 12 July (2011)," he said.
"This was our 16th game, we don't have a big squad but we have worked very hard to reach the position we have. This is the end of this wonderful journey but I and the whole of Cyprus are proud of this team.
"Real Madrid won fairly and it is a fair result, but to score two goals is no small feat. We knew after the result in Nicosia we wouldn't advance, but we wanted to give our best against such a rival in such a stadium."