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Mourinho Presented As Real Madrid Coach

Jose Mourinho said Monday he joined Real Madrid due to its ``history, its frustrations of recent years and its hopes of winning,'' and pledged to build a trophy-winning team with a strong identity during his
PTI May 31, 2010 20:42 IST

Jose Mourinho said Monday he joined Real Madrid due to its ``history, its frustrations of recent years and its hopes of winning,'' and pledged to build a trophy-winning team with a strong identity during his four years as coach.Mourinho said at his official presentation that the Spanish team needs to add three or four new players this offseason, although he did not specify which.

The coach was speaking alongside Jorge Valdano, the Madrid managing director, who confirmed Mourinho has signed a four-year deal.Despite speculation that Mourinho would be given a superstar presentation before Madrid fans, his first appearance as club coach was a relatively low-key affair in the Santiago Bernabeu stadium press room.

Answering questions in Spanish, English and Portuguese, the new coach said he could not guarantee Madrid will win the Champions League for the first time since 2002 under him.

The Portuguese confirmed he wanted to join Madrid after his Inter Milan team beat Bayern Munich 2-0 in the Champions League final in the Spanish capital May 22 - which made him just the third coach to win the European Cup with two teams after securing the trophy with Porto in 2004. However, he said he had not promised Madrid president Florentino Perez that he will deliver Real's 10th European trophy. The competition is too unpredictable to make such promises, he said.

``Real Madrid has an incredible history in the Champions League and in recent years it has an incredibly bad history,'' he said of the team's failure to reach the quarterfinal in the last six years. ``Now we are starting from scratch.''Mourinho said that he expects all his players to adhere to his vision of team spirit over the individual, even stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo.

``I understand that (Ronaldo) is an incredible, important player, not just for Real but for the world of football,'' he said. ``The most important thing is the club, not the players, not the coach. We are little compared to the club.''

In two years with Inter, Mourinho led the club to two league titles, one Italian Cup and its first European Cup since 1965. Before that, he led Chelsea to two Premier League titles.

Last summer, Madrid spent large sums on Ronaldo, Kaka and Karim Benzema but failed to progress past the first knockout round of the Champions League and finished second in the league to Barcelona.Madrid fired Manuel Pellegrini on Wednesday despite the coach guiding the team to a record haul of 96 points, three fewer than Barcelona.Mourinho said he does not fear a similar fate.

``I'm a coach with a great deal of self-esteem and a great deal of self-confidence and I don't think about getting the sack,'' he said.Mourinho downplayed expectations for his first season in charge, pointing to the fact that his Champions League successes at Inter and Porto both came in his second year at the clubs.

The coach rejected suggestions that his teams don't normally play the kind of attractive football Madrid is known for, pointing to the eight goals his Porto and Inter teams scored in three European finals.His Inter team, he said, often played with five attacking players and were well-organized rather than defensive.

``When a lie is repeated over and over, for some unintelligent people that lie becomes a truth,'' he said. ``Pretty, pretty, pretty means Real Madrid winning and that's my motivation.''

Valdano pre-empted questions about his relationship with Mourinho by acknowledging that he has criticized the Portuguese in the past. However, Valdano insisted the two have put that dispute behind them and he described Mourinho as ``one of the most prestigious coaches in the world.''

Valdano said Madrid has reached a ``satisfactory'' agreement with Inter over Mourinho's departure from the Italian side a year before his contract ends. He did not say how much Madrid had paid Inter to rescind the contract.AP