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Courtois? UEFA make the rules, I cannot comment - Mourinho

AS AS 21/04/2014 Dani Hidalgo

“Courtois? It's best for me not to comment. UEFA make the rules, whether you accept them or not. It’s not for the manager to comment on,” said a somewhat subdued José Mourinho

We’ve heard that Samuel Eto’o is unavailable for tomorrow’s game? “He has a problem with his knee”.

How important is this game for you and for Chelsea? “It’s a semi-final and you can tell because the press room is full. This is a match which everyone wants to play”.

Have you any comment on the decision to allow Courtois play in spite of the clause in his contract? “It's best for me not to comment. UEFA make the rules, whether you accept them or not. It’s not for the manager to comment on”.

Do you regard this game as an opportunity to see if Courtois is ready to return to Chelsea? “I do not talk about players from other clubs”.

Simeone has said that you are a much better coach than he is... “I don’t agree. It’s not fair to compare coaches and especially when one has 15 years less experience than the other. They are nice words but I don’t agree”.

We would have liked to have asked you about this at the weekend but unfortunately, we didn’t see you, can you give us your opinion on what happened with Rui Faria during the game against Sunderland? “It's simple, today, tomorrow and Wednesday are Champions League days and we will only talk about the Champions League. You have 19 teams in the Premier League to talk to about it, but not Chelsea”.

Can you give us your assessment of Atlético de Madrid and tell us what qualities you see in them? “I’m not here to talk about Atlético’s qualities; I've already done that with my players. No team gets to the Champions League semi-finals unless they are a good team. We have analyzed them and we respect them. I am not going to give my feelings about Atlético.

This must be an emotional moment for Fernando Torres? “All of the players have the motivation to play for Chelsea; whoever plays tomorrow will be motivated. I haven’t said that Fernando will start tomorrow but the Champions League is motivating for good players. Fernando has never hidden himself away and we talk about Spanish football every day. He is an authentic Atlético supporter and he doesn’t hide it but if he gets to play, I am sure that he will do everything possible to help Chelsea. He is a fantastic professional”.

You seem a little subdued since you were last here in Spain, what’s changed? “Nothing. Nothing’s changed, only the weather”.

Comparisons between Atlético and Chelsea: “I’ve watched Atlético on a number of occasions and when we were drawn against them, it was an eye-opener. I have been studying them so that my players can understand what Atlético are like. I’ll repeat what I said earlier, to get to the Champions League semi-finals, to be battling for the Spanish league title, you have to be an important team. But I don’t want to talk about Atlético’s qualities. I have no interest in sharing that with you”.

Before you left the capital last summer, you said that your team in Spain will always be Real Madrid; did you watch last week’s Copa del Rey final and what were your thoughts on Gareth Bale’s goal? “I didn’t watch the final. I was watching Manchester City’s game against Sunderland and then Benfica’s game. I repeat, in Spain, Real Madrid is my team and when Madrid win competitions in which I am not involved in, I am happy”.

This is your eighth Champions League semi-final, your third with Chelsea. Do you have any unfinished business in the competition with Chelsea? “No, I have no unfinished business. I did my best. I always do my best, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Sometimes you win when you deserve to lose and sometimes you lose when you deserve to win. We lost one semi-final on penalties, which we lost by one goal - and the other semi-final, by a goal which wasn't a goal"

© Javier Lizon

The referee: “I don’t talk about the referee before the game and tomorrow, I won’t change my opinion. We will try and play and good game and I hope we are happy

Could this tie be settled in the first leg? “I don’t know. It’s difficult. Champions League semi-finals are not decided in one game. It’s possible but it’s difficult”.

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