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Mourinho Hails Inter's Fair-Play Performance
The Guardian, September 17th, 2009 3:15PM

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After Inter Milan's 0-0 draw with Barcelona in the group stages of the Champions League, Inter coach Jose Mourinho was up to his usual creative responses. Looking bored at the postgame conference, Mourinho grabbed a stat sheet of the game and made this pronouncement: "This game has a point I think is significant. Inter committed 12 fouls in the whole game. Four in the first half, eight in the second. A team that plays against Barcelona, the best team in Europe, doesn't concede a goal, has only one yellow card in the last minute, and commits only 12 fouls in the whole game? I think this is a great performance."

Mourinho had one good excuse for the limited opportunities his side saw against Barcelona. "It is not easy to play against Barca," he said. "They have nine players who play from memory, we have five new boys who barely know each other's names." Mourinho insists that his team need time to gel. "We have the players, we have the talent, we have the organization. The only way to get better is with games."

Mourinho and Inter face pressure to extend their success beyond the confines of Italy. But Mourinho knows the difficulty of Champions League success. He says that this season should prove harder than ever: "The English teams have the same potential, Barcelona is Barcelona, but I think we'll have a better Inter, a better Bayern Munich, a better Real Madrid..."

 

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