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Triumphant Mourinho insists: 'Now I can never coach Barcelona'

  • Jose Mourinho says reaching Champions League final with Inter is his best achievement
  • Italian champions oust holders Barcelona 3-2 on aggregate, losing second leg 1-0
  • Mourinho calls it his "most beautiful defeat" after denying his former club a place in final
  • Portuguese coach insists he can now never return to the Nou Camp as club's manager

(CNN) -- Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho has hailed ending the Champions League reign of Barcelona as the greatest moment of his controversial career, but said he could now never return to his former club.

Mourinho has had a fractious relationship with the Spanish champions since ending his four-year tenure on the coaching staff in 2000, and stoked the tensions ahead of Wednesday night's second leg of the semifinal in the Catalan capital.

The Portuguese accused Barca of being obsessed with reaching the May 22 final because it will be held at the home of their bitter rivals Real Madrid, and his joyous on-pitch celebrations at the Nou Camp after Inter prevailed 3-2 on aggregate further incensed home fans.

"I'm not stupid enough to think that this hate can be turned into love," he told reporters. "I respect Barca and and I'll never forget what the club gave me in the four years I was here, but something has been created around me that is hard to make positive.

"It is clear that I will end my career without having coached Barca."

Can Mourinho beat Van Gaal to become king of Europe?

We were a team of heroes. We sweated blood... It's the most beautiful defeat of my life
--Jose Mourinho

Mourinho has already won Europe's premier club competition with Porto in 2004, and took English side Chelsea to two semifinals -- facing Barcelona on six occasions in often highly-charged encounters.

But he said that leading Italian champions Inter to a first European Cup final since 1972 -- with German giants Bayern Munich now in the way of the Nerazzuri's first title in 45 years -- was the best achievement of his career.

"For the players, me, the fans, it's the greatest. We were a team of heroes. We sweated blood," Mourinho said after Inter lost 1-0 on the night, hanging on despite playing for an hour with only 10 men following the sending-off of former Barcelona midfielder Thiago Motta.

"It's been 38 years since Inter played in the final. This is not a team of young players who can wait 15 years to make the final -- they will not have another 10 opportunities to play in one," Mourinho added.

"Against Barcelona it's difficult with 11 players, but with 10 it's an historic achievement to win like this. It's the most beautiful defeat of my life."

Mourinho is targeting a hat-trick of trophies this season, with Inter leading the Serie A title race by one point with three matches to play and also having secure a place in the Italian Cup final -- with Roma the chief rival in both competitions.

"We have five games left in all competitions. Tonight we will party, tomorrow we will sleep and after that prepare to face Lazio on Sunday," he said.

"I ask the fans for another favor -- come to Milan airport and welcome this splendid team home. Come to Rome on Sunday for the game with Lazio and then come to the Italian Cup final next Wednesday."

Mourinho has had a difficult time with the Italian press since replacing Roberto Mancini at the San Siro in 2008, but said he had a close bond with his club.

"I was close to the fans when I was at Chelsea, but I am even closer to the Inter fans. I love Inter and the supporters, but not Italian football. I respect it, but I don't love it," he said.

"I thank everyone who played and who did not play. I thank all the fans, those who were here and those who remained at home. Absolutely incredible things happened."

Barcelona will now turn their attention to retaining the Spanish league title, as Josep Guardiola's team lead Real by a point with four matches to play.

"We lost to a great team and a great coach, but we want to win the league and we will be back -- I have nothing to reproach my players for," the coach said ahead of Saturday's trip to sixth-placed Villarreal.