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Last Updated: Friday, 17 December, 2004, 11:53 GMT
Mourinho excited by Barca return
Jose Mourinho
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is delighted his side have drawn Barcelona in the Champions League first knock-out round.

Mourinho, who was assistant boss under Bobby Robson and Louis van Gaal at Barcelona, said: "I am very happy.

"Since I left Barcelona in 2000, I haven't been back. I left as assistant and I go back as European champion and Chelsea boss so it is fantastic for me.

"As a football team they are not better than us. Nobody is the underdog. It's 50-50 or maybe 51-49 to us."

Chelsea were knocked out of the Champions League by Barcelona in Mourinho's final season with the club in 2000.

"They were two great games," said Mourinho.

"Chelsea at that time were very good - a young Zola and a lot of good players around him.

We think we can win against anybody
Jose Mourinho
"But I think Chelsea is strong now, especially mentally.

"We have self-belief and we think we can win against everybody. We are in a good moment now and I hope in February we can be at the same level of play."

Barcelona are considered by many the favourites to win the Champions League and Mourinho believes their lead in La Liga could be an advantage against Chelsea.

"Barcelona are in an even better position than we are because they have no direct opponent," said Mourinho, whose side lead the Premiership by four points while Barca have a nine-point gap in La Liga.

"We are in a fight with Arsenal, Manchester United and Everton but Barcelona are alone.

"Real Madrid and Valencia are too far behind and Deportivo la Coruna are too poor this season.






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