Carvalho hails Mourinho as best coach in the world

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The Independent Football

Real madrid summer signing Ricardo Carvalho has declared Jose Mourinho to be the best coach in the world.

Mourinho moved quickly to sign his fellow countryman for the third time following his arrival at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Carvalho has played under Mourinho at FC Porto, Chelsea and now Real and the 32-year-old international defender has revealed his admiration for the colourful coach.

"I have known Jose Mourinho for many years now, which has become very helpful to me because I know the way he works perfectly well," he told the club's official website.

"He is the best coach in the world, a coach who knows exactly what has to be done."

Meanwhile, Carvalho has backed his new Madrid team-mates to bounce back from their opening weekend goalless draw with Real Mallorca when they return to La Liga action against Osasuna on Saturday.

"Our defence played with great confidence, but it was a shame we didn't capitalise on any of our chances to score," he said. "That was the only thing we failed to do during the match. Normally, we would have scored one or two goals and we would have won the game.

"We played well in defence and in attack we had many opportunities to win. We are going to give our best performance to win against Osasuna on Saturday in order to earn our first victory of the season."

Barcelona captain Carles Puyol's thigh muscle injury is 'healing well', according to the La Liga champions.

The Spain defender missed the season-opening 3-0 victory over Racing Santander after picking up a muscle injury during the pre-match warm-up.

Puyol has been forced to sit out Spain's two international matches after remaining in Barcelona for treatment.

He has now been given an upbeat assessment of the state of his injury ahead of the resumption of La Liga action and a home game against Hercules on Saturday.

Puyol may not return against the newly-promoted side but could make his comeback at home to Panathinaikos in their opening Champions League group stage game three days later.

"Scans carried out on Carles Puyol's injured left leg on Monday have revealed that the muscle is healing well," read a club statement.

"His progress over the next few days should throw some light on when he will be able to return to action."

Meanwhile, club vice-captain Xavi claims Barca are once again the favourites to win the La Liga title.

The Spain midfielder believes that, despite another summer of major investment at perennial rivals Real Madrid, the Catalan club are still the team to beat.

"Barca are the favourites for the title because we are the current champions," claimed Xavi. "Madrid have spent a lot of money in recent years and are desperate to regain the title, but I feel comfortable being billed as the favourites. It's a challenge for us."