Skip to main content

Mourinho: 'World will stop to watch us' as Real take on Man Utd

updated 4:34 PM EST, Mon March 4, 2013
Rival managers Jose Mourinho and Alex Ferguson have the utmost respect for each others ability.
Rival managers Jose Mourinho and Alex Ferguson have the utmost respect for each others ability.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Jose Mourinho underlines importance of Real Madrid's tie at Man Utd
  • 'The world will watch' the Champions League second leg match he says
  • United gained a valuable 1-1 draw in Madrid three weeks ago
  • United manager Alex Ferguson aware of threat posed by Cristiano Ronaldo

(CNN) -- Not given to understatement, Jose Mourinho says the "whole world will be watching" when his Real Madrid side play Manchester United in their crunch Champions League last 16 second leg tie at Old Trafford Tuesday.

With the scores tied at 1-1 from the first leg in the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, Mourinho knows that the outcome is finally balanced, increasing the interest for the committed and neutral fans.

"Tomorrow the world will stop to watch this tie," Mourinho told gathered reporters.

"They are on a fantastic run, better than ever this season. FA Cup quarterfinal, the (English) Premier League is theirs in March.

Alex Ferguson: 'Racism still exists'
Does Ronaldo carry Real Madrid?
Alex Ferguson: 'Racism still exists'

"We are also in good form in 2013. We have lost one match. It doesn't look a tie, it looks a final. Let's see which teams are at Wembley but I doubt the expectation can be bigger than this," added the Portuguese who celebrated his 50th birthday last week.

Read: Ronaldo double sinks Barcelona

Mourinho forged his reputation when his Porto side famously knocked out Manchester United in the semifinals at Old Trafford in 2004, running down the touchline to celebrate the late clinching goal.

He said he had calmed down a little in the intervening period but was still has hungry to win as ever.

"The approach is completely different though. That match was my first season playing Champions League football, now I have played more than 100 matches and I can control my emotions.

"If I lose tomorrow I won't cry and if I win I won't run 100m again!"

Mourinho confirmed that his captain and experienced goalkeeper Iker Casillas would not be returning despite traveling with the team and training Tuesday at the Etihad Stadium, home of United's great rivals Manchester City.

Spain international Casillas has not played for Real since being injured in January, but in his absence the reigning Spanish champions have been on a fine run, beating Barcelona in the semifinals of the Copa del Rey and in their 'El Clasico league clash Saturday, winning 2-1.

José Mourinho on managing star players
José Mourinho on managing star players

Cristiano Ronaldo's second half substitute appearance changed the course of the match for Real and they will be hoping he can work his magic again against his former side United.

Read: Real held by United in heavyweight clash

Legendary home manager Alex Ferguson is well aware of the threat posed by his former charge and when asked about it by reporters responded with humor.

"My biggest concern is that he turns up!" he quipped.

"What do you expect when you play against a team with Ronaldo in it? You expect problems during the night. We have to try and curtail that as best we can.

"It won't be easy because he does it every week. The experience young Rafael had in the first half in Madrid hopefully helps him because he'll be getting the same task again.

"I don't think it's one we should fear. If we go in worrying about the damage Cristiano can do then we'll forget some of the things that we can do ourselves."

United will go into the tie as marginal favorites with the bookmakers and off the back of a thumping 4-0 win over Norwich in the EPL, but they will be missing utility man Phil Jones, who has failed to recover from a thigh injury.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:29 AM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
Major League Soccer has snared another big name from England with former Chelsea star Frank Lampard committing his future to New York City FC.
The U.S. government recognizes Kosovo, as do most European states, but getting football's ruling bodies to play ball has proved harder.
updated 11:04 AM EDT, Wed June 4, 2014
National heroes don't always belong to one country. Ask France's World Cup hero Patrick Vieira, who is rediscovering his roots.
CNN's John Sinnott on the quiet Cambridge graduate behind Liverpool's resurgent campaign.
updated 11:19 AM EDT, Fri May 30, 2014
They are the dispossessed -- stateless, and unrecognized by football's ruling body. But these teams will still play at their own World Cup.
Louis van Gaal will be a perfect fit for Manchester United the club, business and brand, says CNN's Patrick Snell.
updated 3:24 PM EDT, Mon May 19, 2014
There's a new force in Spanish football -- and Atletico Madrid's ascendance is sharply contrasted by the fall from power of Barcelona.
updated 8:06 AM EDT, Tue May 13, 2014
Rubber bullets, drones and FBI-trained riot police. Welcome to Brazil's 2014 World Cup -- will protests overshadow football's showpiece event?
updated 9:18 AM EDT, Fri May 9, 2014
The former England international, who famously kicked a banana off the pitch 27 years ago, says education is the key to tackling racism.
updated 8:00 AM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
updated 12:03 PM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 01: Neymar of Barcelona celebrates his goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between FC Barcelona and Club Atletico de Madrid at Camp Nou on April 1, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
The Brazilian star's first season in Spain may have spluttered along, but the 22-year-old says he'll be firing on all cylinders at the World Cup.
updated 1:15 PM EDT, Wed April 30, 2014
Former Soviet footballer Sergei Baltacha traveled from the land of the hammer and sickle to join The Tractor Boys and in doing so broke new ground.
updated 5:31 AM EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
Brazil's Dani Alves arrived at Barcelona from Sevilla in 2008 and he has gone on to make over 180 appearances for the club.
Villarreal football supporter who threw a banana at Barcelona's Dani Alves during league match handed a life ban by the La Liga club.
ADVERTISEMENT