Real Madrid Coach Jose Mourinho came out in defense of his star player Cristiano Ronaldo after his sides surprise 3-1 penalties loss to Bayern Munich yesterday. The Portuguese tactician who refused to be drawn into the raging Messi-Ronaldo debate however, stated that Ronaldo had had a better season compared to his Barcelona rival.
“Cristiano Ronaldo is fantastic. I will not compare him with [Lionel] Messi, we’re talking about two great players. I will say this year Cristiano Ronaldo has been better,” he said.
The loss was a huge blow for a Madrid side that is just starting to emerge from the shadows of Barcelona’s dominance. Penalty misses from Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka and Sergio Ramos condemned Mourinho to yet another semi-final loss, one that could ultimately affect his future with the Madrid.
Despite the negative result, Mourinho avoided criticising any of his players choosing instead to praise them for their gallant efforts.
“The ones that miss the shot are the ones that have the balls to shoot. Fearless, not selfish, they go and try. I’m proud of my men.
“They’re super men but Superman is a film. Messi missed yesterday [against Chelsea], and today three men missed because this is football, and these things happen.”
Meanwhile, it was all celebrations for Madrid’s opponents Bayern Munich. Bayern made it to their second final in two years after 120 minutes and penalties to give them hope of clinching a trophy that eluded them when they lost to Inter Milan 2-0 who were then under Mourinho at the same stadium in 2010.
Speaking after the match, Jupp Heynckes who called his side’s performance ‘magical’.
“It’s a magical night,” he said.
“We had a lot of problems in the first quarter of an hour, but we corrected this afterwards. We were sensational. It is a special victory for Bayern.
Bayern will now face Chelsea who also overcame Spanish opponents Barcelona in the May 19th final at the Allianz Arena. Despite very heroic performances from both managers, it will be interesting to see how they approach the match seeing that they will be without a number of their stars.
Bayern will have to do without the services of Holger Badstuber, Luis Gustavo and David Alaba, however, it is Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo who is the worst placed of the two. Di Matteo will be without Ramires, Meireles, Ivanovic and John Terry for the showdown.
With slightly over three weeks to the showpiece, both managers still have some time to prepare their sides for what will be the biggest game of their season.