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26 Apr 2012

José Mourinho says he will be supporting his "Chelsea heroes" against Bayern Munich in the Champions League final after he was denied a reunion with his former club by a dramatic penalty shootout defeat in the semi-final second leg. The Real Madrid manager also rounded on critics of Chelsea's tactics, telling them: you know nothing.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaká had penalties saved and Sergio Ramos blasted his over the bar as Madrid were beaten 3-1 in the shootout after a 3‑3 aggregate draw. Mourinho was quick to defend his players for missing spot-kicks, highlighting the "brutal" pressure and praising them for having the "balls" to step up. He continued in a similar vein with an equally spirited defence of his former players from Stamford Bridge over their defensive approach against Barcelona on Tuesday.

"John [Terry] is missing but Chelsea are there [in the final] and that is the most important thing," he said. "I just hope it is a good final and of course I want the Blues to win, even though I have a lot of respect for the reds. I have a blue rib, still. Inter and Chelsea mean a lot to me."

"I think Chelsea's boys were heroes [against Barcelona], absolute heroes. Some people think they are the masters of the game and they will criticise Chelsea in the same way that they criticised Inter two years ago, but they know nothing. Nothing.

"They know nothing about character and personality. They know nothing about the effort or what it is to resist physically, emotionally and technically, with 10 men. They know nothing about organisation. They know nothing. That's why my heroes at Chelsea are in my mind and why Chelsea deserve to be in the final. One of the great things about football is that it is unpredictable. Chelsea have fantastic fans and so do Bayern Munich so I hope they enjoy the final. And I hope Chelsea win."

The Bayern Munich coach, Jupp Heynckes, admitted he was surprised Chelsea had reached the final but praised them for a "tactical masterpiece" against Barcelona. He insisted the four suspensions picked up by the London club do not give his side an advantage, noting that Bayern will also be without key players: David Alaba, Holger Badstuber and Luiz Gustavo.

"It is a pity that the best players cannot play in the final," Heynckes said, "both for Chelsea and for Bayern Munich. We have to rethink the rules. We have lost three players who have played stupendously in this year's competition. I do not think it is an advantage.

"It was a surprise Chelsea were in the final but in the last few weeks Chelsea have made a very good impression. They are a team of wonderful professionals and if they reached the final it is because they deserved to. I thought Barcelona suffered from immense fatigue; they were exhausted. Chelsea did it that way because they knew that they could not play offensively against Barcelona and we have to congratulate them. It was a tactical masterpiece."

Mourinho, asked if defeat made him determined to stay on at Madrid and attempt to win the competition again next year, replied: "Absolutely."

He added: "If I have anything in my mind, it is to try to win with these [players]. Winning the [Spanish] cup last year was important and if we win the league this year that will be important, too. Two [Champions League] semi-finals is also not bad, but we want more.

"My feeling is that we still have the ability to grow as a team and the club can grow too. Clubs have to adapt to the evolution of time and to changing mentalities. A fantastic car in the 1980s is not fantastic in the 1990s or the 2000s. If the club thinks that I can still give something – and I know that they do – and if the players think so as well – and I think they do; I feel like the empathy is increasing – I will continue."


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