Jose Mourinho felt Chelsea did not deserve to lose against Liverpool in Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final.
The Londoners were beaten 4-1 on spot-kicks after Liverpool prevailed 1-0 after extra-time to cancel out Chelsea’s 1-0 first-leg lead.
“It is a moment when everybody has to be strong,” he said. “My players have a lot of reasons to be proud.
“We were the best team today, even against a team only playing for the Champions League.”
He added: “In extra-time we were the only team who tried to win, but football is like that and the penalty shoot-out is part of the game.
“My players did a great run in the Champions League.”
Mourinho also denied that some of his more controversial comments aimed at Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez had helped inspire Liverpool on the night.
He added: “I respected Liverpool always in my words. I don’t need to say more and today I think the best team was Chelsea.”