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Last Updated: Monday, 6 March 2006, 17:19 GMT
Mourinho happy to take Barca fury
Jose Mourinho
Chelsea boss Mourinho has angered the Barcelona fans
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho insists he does not have a problem with being a figure of hate amongst Barcelona fans.

The Blues received a hostile welcome on arrival in Spain ahead of Tuesday's Champions League game, with Mourinho bearing the brunt of the abuse.

He said: "I'm the first to leave the airport, I know what I am doing. After that the players don't have anything.

"It was the same at the hotel. I left two or three minutes before and the guys follow me so it's easy for them."

Mourinho added: "On Tuesday I will go to the pitch before the game and try to take the good feeling of the crowd.

"But I can't do anything once the referee starts the game. It's up to the players, but we have players with some experience and they can handle the situation."

I want our fans to cheer Mourinho because he is a great coach
Barca coach Frank Rijkaard

Chelsea trail 2-1 after a first leg which saw Asier Del Horno sent off and Mourinho accuse Barca's Lionel Messi of acting.

That came a year after Mourinho sparked controversy by accusing Barca boss Rijkaard of influencing the referee during the first leg of the Blues' Champions League exit.

But Rijkaard condemned the hostile reception the Chelsea boss, who used to be on the coaching staff at Barca, received.

"I felt very bad about what happened," said the Dutchman.

"I think we now have a fantastic opportunity to show we have respect for Chelsea and we should applaud them when they step on to the pitch.

"Mourinho has achieved a great deal in his career, he is one of the best coaches in the world and he has a past with Barcelona.

"I want our fans to cheer him because he is a great coach."

Kieren Startup, a cameraman on Chelsea TV, witnessed the abuse at the airport and told the club's website: "It was intimidating, there was a lot of aggressive chanting at Mourinho.

"But he ignored it and then they moved on to angry gestures and spitting."

Startup added that "everyone else on the coach seemed to be unbothered".

But he also said: "There were very few police to marshal it, and they didn't seem interested once the players got on the coach to stop any abuse."

Mourinho has created himself this 'football personality' ... that's not what he is like as a man or a coach when you play for him

Mourinho responded by smiling and applauding sarcastically.

Meanwhile, Messi, the 18-year-old Argentine, has admitted he wants to silence Mourinho by knocking Chelsea out of the competition.

"I want to produce the biggest match of my life against Chelsea to silence the mouth of Mourinho and his players," said Messi.

"They claim I am an actor. They are wrong. I am a professional footballer and I have received many kicks this season. The actors are for the cinema and not for sport."

Messi's team-mate Deco, who played for Mourinho at Porto, added: "Mourinho has created himself this 'football personality' which he changes into when he wants to heat up a game or provoke opponents.

"That's not what he is like as a man or a coach when you play for him. But he has his own way of preparing for big games like this.

"We won't get involved in such foolishness. Our strength will be in playing our own game and repeating the level of concentration we showed in London."

Report: Chelsea get hostile reception in Spain

Interview: Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho

Barcelona v Chelsea
06 Mar 06 |  Europe


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