Mourinho praise for PSG

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has paid tribute to Paris Saint-Germain ahead of Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final first leg in France.

Last Updated: 02/04/14 at 09:23 Post Comment

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Last week Mourinho upset Laurent Blanc, manager of the reigning French champions, by suggesting it was easy to win Ligue 1, but with 24 hours before kick-off at the Parc des Princes, the Portuguese coach was on a charm offensive.

The match is a repeat of Mourinho's first European game in charge of Chelsea, which a side containing Petr Cech, John Terry and Frank Lampard won 3-0 in the group stage in September 2004 as recently-arrived owner Roman Abramovich began to reap the rewards of his investment.

With Chelsea now firmly established as one of Europe's elite, PSG are less than three years into an ambitious project led by their mega-rich Qatari owners, something which reminds Mourinho of what he first walked into at Stamford Bridge.

"You can find similarities. When Mr Abramovich bought the club he was ready and keen and the football rules were open to that, so the investment was important," said Mourinho.

"Ours was probably the most important investment in that period and as a consequence of that Chelsea built year after year some of the best teams in European football.

"Paris is doing the same, some people don't understand very well how it will look with Financial Fair Play, but the reality is that in the last two years the investment was massive, that the choice of players was fantastic.

"Leonardo (former sporting director) started here a fantastic period of spending money but buying the right players. At this moment, the team is full of really good players, the passion in the city is also good and the Parc des Princes is a beautiful place to play.

"Now they are dominant in France the same way Chelsea was chasing season after season the Champions League, reaching semi-finals and finals. They are doing the same and they want to win."

In Tuesday's press conference, when asked to name his side for the quarter-final, the Chelsea boss was a little more cautious with his opinions and read out the first five names on the team-sheet.

"Petr Cech, (Branislav) Ivanovic, (John) Terry, (Gary) Cahill and (Cesar) Azpilicueta," he added.

Mourinho, who insists the hosts are favourites, continued the compliments of Blanc's team, stating: "It's a team full of fantastic strikers and goalscorers and that is what really makes the difference in this level.

"You look to the teams in the top eight at this moment, all of them good teams, good structures, with a certain philosophy, but after that you go and you see (Barcelona's Lionel) Messi, (Real Madrid's Cristiano) Ronaldo, (Borussia Dortmund's Robert) Lewandowski, Diego Costa, Ibrahimovic, (Edison) Cavani, (Ezequiel) Lavezzi.

"They (PSG) have lots of them. At this level it's a very important part of a team."

Fernando Torres is likely to start up front for Chelsea in the continued absence of Samuel Eto'o.

Eto'o (hamstring) and Ashley Cole (knee) did not travel to the French capital, with Dutch youngster Nathan Ake providing cover at left-back for Cesar Azpilicueta, who became a father on Monday.

Ramires is free to play despite a game remaining of his domestic suspension, but Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah are ineligible having played for Benfica and Basle, respectively, earlier in the competition.

Paris St Germain v Chelsea is live on Sky Sports 1HD on Wednesday, kick-off 7.45pm

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terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

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he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

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o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

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