Alonso: Mourinho will thrive

Xabi Alonso believes Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho is 'made for' games like the clash with Manchester United but is expecting a tough test at the Bernabeu.

Last Updated: 11/02/13 at 12:26 Post Comment

Jose Mourinho: Backed to thrive in blockbuster tie by Alonso

Jose Mourinho: Backed to thrive in blockbuster tie by Alonso

The two European heavyweights will collide on Wednesday night when the Primera Liga giants host United in the first leg of their last 16 UEFA Champions League tie.

Alonso feels manager Mourinho thrives on blockbuster encounters like this one but knows Sir Alex Ferguson will be just as up for the challenge.

He told The Times: "Mourinho is made for games like this one against United.

"The way he prepares the game, the way he analyses the opponents, the way he approaches us in terms of giving us a psychological edge and extra motivation, he loves these occasions."

Ex-Liverpool man Alonso added: "They have that United thing: it is hard to put into words, but it means that they are always competitive against anyone.

"It is probably a Ferguson thing, because he is them and they are him, the team has taken on his psychology.

"He is that edge and that transmits from him to his players, something that I saw at first hand during my Liverpool years.

"So we are expecting a very intense, difficult tie."

Passion

After previously spending five seasons at United's fierce rivals Liverpool, Alonso insists he will welcome any stick that comes his way from the Old Trafford faithful in the second leg and admits he misses the passion of the Premier League fans.

"Bring it on!" he added. "I accept that and I will kind of enjoy it as well, somehow.

"I suppose it will make me proud because it means that people still remember my link with Liverpool.

"I know that whenever I play at Old Trafford I am going to get that kind of stick because that is the banter of the Premier League.

"Going to Old Trafford with Liverpool was always a special occasion and it will be the same this time with Real Madrid, no matter what they sing about me.

"That kind of passion is one of the things I miss about England."

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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

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ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

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s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

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