Inter boss Jose Mourinho has suggested the Champions League is “more important” than the World Cup as he prepares for Saturday’s final against Bayern Munich in Madrid.
Mourinho’s belief is that club football is currently the pinnacle of the game because coaches can pick and choose their players from around the globe.
“This game is the most important in the world,” Mourinho said. “It is even bigger than the World Cup because the teams in it are at a higher level than national teams, who can’t buy the best players. If you hold it to be important, you have to transmit that to the players.”
Mourinho, who has come in for criticism for Inter’s negative tactics, was swift to deny the claims, highlighting the first leg of the Barcelona semi-final when Inter defeated the reigning champions 3-1.
“I think that this season I haven’t seen a match like the one between Inter and Barcelona at the San Siro,” Mourinho said. “I haven’t seen a team play the way we did. We attacked aggressively against the champions of Europe. We scored three goals against the champions of Europe.
“We won the tie in Barcelona, but everyone talks about Barcelona winning and says we parked the bus in front of the goal. We didn’t park the bus, we parked the airplane and we did it for two reasons. One, because we only had 10 men and two, because we beat them 3-1 at San Siro, not by parking the bus, or the boat or the airplane, but by smashing them at the San Siro.
“I haven’t seen anyone play the way we did against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea isn’t a small team, it is the champion of England and no one plays like that at Stamford Bridge. Only we have played two games of the level we did against Chelsea and against Barcelona.”
Mourinho was again forced to answer questions about his personal future, but he insists he will make a decision on his expected move to Real Madrid after Saturday’s final.
“It’s not a problem of contract or money and that makes me slightly embarrassed because of what I earn considering the (world economic) crisis there is,” said Mourinho. “It’s a problem of personal satisfaction, to feel respected or not in a football nation where I have had so many problems.
“It’s not true that I’m the Real coach. After the final, I want to think about my future. Obviously, Inter cannot do anything more to make me feel happy and feel important. The players are fantastic, so are the fans and everyone at the club. The result of Saturday’s game means nothing.
“My successor? The club chose me and chose well. At this time, I am the Inter coach. I have a contract until 2012 or 2013, I don’t remember.”