Champions League Final 2014: Atletico Madrid are like Jose Mourinho's Porto 10 years ago, says Deco



The former Chelsea midfielder Deco has compared Champions League finalists Atletico Madrid to his FC Porto team that so unexpectedly won the trophy in 2004.

Atletico play Real Madrid in tonight’s final in Lisbon with their manager, Diego Simeone, having drawn comparisons with Jose Mourinho, who guided the Portuguese club to that success 10 years ago.

There are also similarities in the manner that both clubs have defied football’s economic realities to progress so far. With an annual revenue that is just 21 per cent of Real Madrid’s, Atletico would be financially the weakest club to win the Champions League since Porto in 2004.

Deco was the playmaker in that Mourinho team, and has been struck by many common qualities between the two sides. “The mentality is important,” said Deco, the MasterCard Official Player Mascot Manager for the final. “In [the Porto team of 2004] and Atletico Madrid, the teams are the face of the coach, the spirit of the coach.

“After 10 years, I think they are similar. They both are big clubs but are not like [Real] Madrid or Barcelona, but they built a strong team, with young coaches and fantastic players. [Other clubs] take the important players but they are able to get young players [to keep improving].”

Deco also noticed similar moments when both teams finally believed they could go all the way, comparing Atletico’s win over Chelsea in the semi-finals to Porto’s famous elimination of Manchester United 10 years ago. “Atletico were playing well but, when the season starts, you don’t know if it’s possible to continue. After the first few months they were still playing well. When they beat Chelsea in Stamford Bridge and Valencia in the league, you could see it’s possible.”

Comparing the Chelsea result to Porto beating United in the round of 16 a decade ago, he said: “That game was fantastic. We were playing well, better than Man U but, when we went there, we were losing 1-0 and at that moment going out. When we got the goal and went through, we started to believe it was possible to win the Champions League.

“We knew what we could do. We won the Uefa Cup the season before and won it playing very well but the Champions League is different. We knew we had a chance.”

Deco was also part of the Chelsea team that won a 2009-10 league and FA Cup double under Carlo Ancelotti. The Italian can today become the first manager since Bob Paisley to win three European Cups. Deco puts that down to his man-management, which is key for a club like Real.

“He knows how to train big stars, the teams with fantastic players, the players that won many things, I think he managed very well things like that,” he said. “It’s important in such moments. He’s very calm, knows exactly what needs to be done on the pitch, shows exactly what the players need to do. He’s tactically very good.”

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific