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Mourinho: Barcelona is no longer the benchmark
Mourinho hints at Barcelona interest in Pepe

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Mourinho hints at Barcelona interest in Pepe

Jose Mourinho believes that Barcelona is no longer the example to follow in football after it was dethroned by Real Madrid in La Liga and by Chelsea in the Champions League last term.

The Catalans were often seen as the pace-setters in the game by coaches from rival teams following their recent successes, but the Portuguese believes fewer and fewer people are seeing the Catalans' style of play as the ideal.

"I think the time time has come where people start talking less about Barcelona, and that people are no longer trying to make comparisons with them," he was quoted as saying by France Football.

"Why would people talk about Barca? Real Madrid are Spanish champions, and Chelsea are European champions. Barcelona are neither of the two at the moment."

The former Inter boss also had his say on Barca's style of play, and insisted that he prefers a different football philosophy.

"I love to win things and Barcelona do just that. They have won a lot of titles and will continue to do so in the future. However, I prefer Madrid's philosophy. We were very efficient last season, and played at an impressive level," Mourinho explained.

He added, "We played beautiful and spectacular football. I enjoy Madrid's style of play. The guy who can convince me that there's one style that's more attractive than the others has yet to be born.

"Some people enjoy Barcelona's style and some don't. I respect their philosophy and have to admit that it's difficult to play against them. Some teams are just trying to copy what's seen as the ideal by some. Madrid have their own identity."

Mourinho then went on to voice his opinion that Cristiano Ronaldo deserves to win the 2012 Ballon d'Or ahead of Lionel Messi.

"Messi and Cristiano are on another level to the rest. Cristiano had no equal, though, last term. He won La Liga and broke numerous records," Mourninho said.

He continued to explain, "Additionally, he made it to the semifinals at Euro 2012 with a team that weren't expected to go that far. If Messi wins, though, I'll respect that and won't say a word about it."

Messi has won the inaugural two editions of the FIFA Ballon d'Or.

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