Champions League: Real Madrid’s Jose Mourinho Aims For Final

Real Madrid’s manager, Jose Mourinho, is set to lead his club into the first leg of the Champions League semi-final match-up against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday night with a “third time’s the charm” attitude. The world’s most valuable sports club has failed to make it out of the semi-finals in each of the last two seasons.

Mourinho has come up in rumors of leaving Real Madrid at the end of this season, but those talks will be set aside as his club looks to take the first leg on the road after La Liga rivals FC Barcelona were outplayed in a 4-0 thrashing by Bayern Munich in the other semi-final match-up on Tuesday.

In 2011, Real Madrid lost to FC Barcelona in the semi-finals by a 3-1 aggregate after losing 2-0 at home in the first leg. The Meringues had a chance in the 2012 Champions League semi-finals but fell short in penalties to Bayern Munich.

Munich went on to lose to Chelsea of the English Premier League in the Champions League final in 2012 but are in position to return to the championship match barring a miracle from FC Barcelona in the second leg of the semi-finals.

Jose Mourinho would love nothing more than to face Bayern Munich in the finals after missing out each of the past two seasons. Real Madrid hasn’t won the Champions League since 2002 and never made it out of the second round from 2005 to 2010.

Mourinho’s future with Real Madrid is up in the air, but a Champions League title may change that outlook quite quickly. FC Barcelona is already set to regain the La Liga crown this season after Real Madrid finished at the top last year, making the semi-final match-up with Borussia Dortmund that much more critical.

Mourinho understands he is expected to bring home a Champions League title, and he reassured the media that his club would be ready for the challenge.

“We want this; we want it a lot,” he said in a press conference on Tuesday. “This team – with the exception of four or five players – has not won the Champions League.”

A title could put Mourinho’s exit from the club on hold while a runner-up finish isn’t going to be acceptable and nobody knows that better than the Portuguese manager.

“Right now we are a top seed and revenue from this competition has increased,” Mourinho added. “But I know that at this club finishing second is not enough.”

Real Madrid’s road to Champions League glory has been hectic to say the least after sneaking past Manchester United and Galatasaray SK in the past two rounds. Borussia Dortmund will look to end Madrid’s run in hopes of meeting their German-rival, Bayern Munich, in the championship.

Can Jose Mourinho lead Real Madrid to the Champions League final? Will taking home the Champions League crown give Mourinho a chance to stay at Real Madrid after the season?

[Image via Tsutomu Takasu]

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