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Ex-boss backing Chelsea to win final

Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho hopes the Blues win the Champions League final next month.

The Portuguese saw his Real Madrid team miss out on a place in the May 19 showpiece as they suffered a penalty shoot-out defeat by Bayern Munich.

Mourinho said afterwards: "The Chelsea fans are fantastic, as are the German fans so I hope they enjoy it and it is a great final - but I hope Chelsea win."

Real, trailing 2-1 from the first leg, raced into a 2-0 lead inside 15 minutes at the Bernabeu last night thanks to a double from Cristiano Ronaldo, but Bayern levelled the tie through Arjen Robben's penalty just before the half-hour mark.

Neither side could then break the deadlock as the game drifted into extra-time and finally penalties and after Ronaldo, Kaka and Sergio Ramos missed for the hosts, Bastian Schweinsteiger converted his spot-kick.

Mourinho lamented the fact that his side had to play Barcelona in a critical match for the Primera Division just four days ago.

The 49-year-old believes the extra strain put on his players from beating Barca on Saturday, whilst Bayern rested a host of players against Werder Bremen, proved decisive.

He said: "We deserved to win, mainly because the matches were very even and it is a completely different situation when a team plays for a championship against a side that doesn't.

"If we weren't playing to win the title, we would have had fresher players, but the team were fantastic in terms of their physical condition. Barcelona played the Clasico and then two days later lost to Chelsea, this has incredible value."

However, Mourinho praised his former club for their stout defensive performance against Barca at the Nou Camp on Tuesday. He said: "John Terry will be missing but Chelsea are there and that is the most important thing. Chelsea were heroes yesterday.

"People who criticise them know nothing about character, effort and how a team with 10 men can resist physically, mentally and tactically."


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