MILAN (Reuters) - Despite the pressure of a Champions League final and questions about his future, Jose Mourinho’s wry wit was evident on Tuesday when he said he was more worried about “Gudjohnsen” the volcano than anything else.
Treble-chasing Inter face Bayern Munich in Madrid on Saturday in their first European Cup final since 1972 and coach Mourinho’s only concern is the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland which has hit European air travel and may force his side to fly to Spain on Wednesday rather than Friday.
“I am worried about Gudjohnsen,” Mourinho said, perplexing a jam-packed news conference at Inter’s training ground.
“I don’t know the name of the volcano, it’s too difficult, so it’s Gudjohnsen,” he joked, referring to his former Chelsea and Iceland forward Eidur Gudjohnsen.
“I’m worried about the volcano, I would like to go Friday but it seems we may have to go tomorrow. I like to work here. That’s my only worry.”
Getting to Real Madrid’s Bernabeu stadium in the first place is one thing, but whether Mourinho stays there as coach next term is another after acknowledging he is unhappy in Italian football despite two league titles in two seasons.
“It’s not true that I am coach of Real Madrid and after the final I want two or three days for myself to think about my future,” the Portuguese said in his typically abrupt tone.
“Obviously Inter can do nothing more to make me happy, I feel important in this club. It’s a problem of personal satisfaction, of being respected in a footballing country where I have had problems for a couple of years.
“But the final comes first.”
Forward Mario Balotelli suffered a thigh muscle pull in training but should be fit for Saturday, so apart from the suspended Thiago Motta Inter will largely be at full strength for a game Mourinho thinks is the pinnacle.
“It’s more important than the World Cup final. Teams are better than national teams so the quality should be better,” he said as he defended his team from accusations from Bayern boss and former mentor Louis van Gaal that Inter are boring.
“In the Champions League I don’t remember a match like Inter v Barcelona at the San Siro (in the semi-final first leg). I don’t remember seeing a team play football like we did — attack in a very aggressive way against the Champions of Europe.”
Mourinho continued to crack jokes about “parking the plane” in front of the Barca goal in the return leg rather than the bus, a dig at the fact his team flew to Spain while Barca took a coach to Milan because of the volcano.
Some bizarre Portuguese proverbs about throwing sand in people’s eyes followed before he was finally asked what the sprinkling of magic dust was that made him “the Special One” after so much success.
“I pray a lot,” Mourinho said, straight-faced.
Editing by Miles Evans; To query or comment on this story email email@example.com