Jose Mourinho held his Champions League press conference on Tuesday and the inevitable opponent-prodding quotations flowed from his mouth hole with expert precision.
With Inter leading Barcelona 3-1 after the first leg, the Catalans have switched into serious bizniz mode. After their La Liga win over last place Xerez over the weekend, the players put on shirts that read "We will try out best" (pictured above) in reference to Wednesday's second leg against Inter to coincide with a promotional video meant to pump up their fans. They also went so far as to break out the totally not cliche line that the second leg will be a "war."
Obviously, Mourinho felt compelled to address all of this:
“I don’t know what their problem is or what caused this attitude,” replied the Inter boss in this evening’s Press conference.
“Where is the problem for the strongest side in the world to come back from 3-1 down? Let us remember this is not a war, it is a football match.
“It is a dream for me, for Inter and the fans, so I hope to give my little contribution to help those who have not yet won the Champions League.
“It has been a long and difficult journey, but I told my players to follow a dream, not an obsession. However, for Barcelona it’s absolutely an obsession, which is not as pure as a dream.
“For Barcelona reaching the Champions League Final in Paris and Rome was a dream, but playing the decisive match at the Santiago Bernabeu in Real Madrid’s back yard is an obsession. It would be for us too if the final was in Turin."
While accusing Barcelona of having a perverse desire to play for Champions League silverware in front of the Madridistas who hate them is a typically genius Jose diversion tactic, Inter midfielder (and former Barca player) Thiago Motta opted for a more direct jibe...
"I watch Barcelona on television and see the players diving, but the important thing for us to do is step on to the field with a cool head and help the referee.
“I have respect for Barcelona and do not want to cause controversy."
Of course not. And what better way to show respect and not cause controversy than to accuse an entire, highly regarded team of being a bunch of cheats. Well played, Thiago. Well played.