Mourinho hails ‘special’ victory

Jose Mourinho has described Real Madrid’s 1-0 win over Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final as a ‘fantastic triumph’ for his side.After a tense 90 minutes at the Mestalla in Valencia, extra-time was required, with Cristiano Ronaldo’s 103rd minute header separating the two sides on Wednesday.

The win signalled an end to Real’s three-year trophy drought, with the club now taking confidence into their two-legged Champions League semi-final with Barcelona beginning on May 27.

“I am thrilled to win the Copa del Rey – it is something special,” Mourinho said.

“It’s a fantastic triumph against a great team like Barcelona – and we deserved it. We can take them on over two games; we have just done that.”

“There is no reason we can’t beat them in the Champions League because we have just drawn once against them and then beaten them. I came here to do a job and change the mentality of the club. We have started to do that and it’s satisfying – but it’s just the start.”

Recently, Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff said that Mourinho’s only existence was to win trophies and that he was not a ‘football coach’, but Mourinho responded by saying he was pleased with the comment.

“Winning titles is winning titles, it’s always good,” he said.

“Only a few days ago someone called me a coach who wins titles and not football. Thank you. I like being a coach who wins titles.”

Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos’s comments after the match highlighted just how much Mourinho’s squad believe in their manager.

“Mourinho is the captain of our ship and we are with him to the death,” Ramos said. “What he is trying to instil in us is working wonderfully.”

Goal-scorer Ronaldo backed up Ramos’ comments and hailed the silverware as ‘really important’ for the club.

“We knew that whoever scored first would win it – and so it proved,” Ronaldo said.

“Mourinho has given us a winning spirit and this is a really important trophy for us – it was an objective we had for this season and we have achieved it.”

Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola was disappointed after the match, but insisted his side will bounce back from the defeat.

“It’s always better to win than to lose,” Guardiola said.

“But life is like that – you can’t always win. We will pick ourselves up – of course we will.”

“We are more sad than if we had won, but that’s part of the game. These players have been playing together for a long time and we’ll bounce back.”