Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has predicted Manchester City will win the Champions League in the near future if they continue developing at their current rate.
The two-time European Cup winner Mourinho will guide his side against the Premier League champions in their opening Champions League match on Tuesday evening and the Portuguese has likened City’s investment-fuelled progression to that of his former club Chelsea’s after Russian billionaire Roman Abramovic took control of the west London outfit.
Mourinho told reporters: “I don’t think it is very different to Chelsea.
“Since Roman bought the club, [Claudio] Ranieri was the first coach, then I came and we won the first league, some cups and some more titles. Carlo [Ancelotti] then came and they continued to win and finally they won the Champions League.
“With City it started off with Mark Hughes, they started spending money and buying good players.
“Then Roberto [Mancini] came and he has done a very good job. He has created a great squad, the first cup then the first title arrived.
“I don’t know if it is this season or next season with Roberto, or with another person in the future, but normally in the direction the club is going, sooner or later they will win the big cup.”
Mourinho, who led Real Madrid to the Liga title last season, has endured a sticky start to the new domestic campaign but refutes suggestions he is set to make wholesale changes to the starting line-up.
“The line-up will not be very different, nor will I try to show any player that they are not in the best condition,” he insisted. “It will be the best that I consider to play against opposition full of players of the highest level.
“I don’t believe I have created doubts. The principal person responsible is me. When my teams win, we win together, and when we lose, I am the one responsible.
“Before losing to Sevilla I said to the players what I then said in the press conference. For this reason it is not a criticism but a conviction. I said it to them before the game.
“Football is about today and tomorrow, not yesterday. Yesterday is history. I haven’t been able to keep my players motivated and concentrated at the top level and that is my fault.”
Mourinho ended by dismissing claims he was under external pressure to deliver results at the Bernabeu and insisted he was just as motivated for the Manchester City clash as any other.
“At this level, players and managers have already won things,” he said. “All of us have titles, professional and economic stability, we needn’t be worried about people nor waiting on their reaction,” he continued.
“No one pressures me, I pressure myself. No one motivates me, I motivate myself also.
“To play against City motivates me as much as playing against Getafe. To win the Champions League motivates me like any other match. Motivation is something intrinsic to the job.
“The conviction is that tomorrow we will have a team. A determined, compact and solid team.”