The former Chelsea winger Arjen Robben has added a bit of spice to the Champions League final build-up by accusing his old coach at Stamford Bridge, Jose Mourinho, of having a "win-at-all-costs" attitude to management.
Mourinho sold Robben to Real Madrid from Chelsea in 2007 and the Bayern Munich winger will have the chance for revenge at the Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid when the German champions face Internazionale tomorrow. He said: "Mourinho makes a winning team but it does not matter to him if his side plays good football or not. In contrast, the philosophy at Bayern is we win games by playing good football."
Mourinho had earlier spoken of players who did not put the team first. He said: "On the first day of training I always say to my players that if they understand that the team is the most important thing, more important than any one player, then working with me will be easy. But if they think they are more important than the team then working with me will be a disaster."
Robben spent three seasons at Chelsea but left having fallen out with Mourinho. This season he has been Bayern's biggest attacking threat and, in the absence of the suspended Franck Ribéry, will be expected to carry the fight to Inter. Comparing his current coach, Louis van Gaal, with Mourinho, Robben added: "They are both very strong at preparing a team and they are very strong mentally. The difference is Van Gaal maybe looks more at the football-playing part and Mourinho more at the organisation defensively, but they are both among the best coaches in the world."
Rejecting accusations that his teams play negatively without too much concern for football aesthetics – as appeared to be the case in the second leg of the semi-final against Barcelona – Mourinho said: "In the last two years nobody has been able to play Barcelona the way we played them in the first leg – they were not expecting it. They wanted to press us high up the pitch but the ball was going directly to our forwards and they played superbly when they received it. That is where we won the semi-final, in the first game. We beat them 3-1 and it could have been five, but people only want to talk about the second game."
Despite reservations about his former manager's style Robben did say he believed that Real Madrid and Mourinho were "made for each other", although with Real also having rejected the Dutch winger after his two years at the club that could be seen more as a slight than a compliment. "If I play well tomorrow then it will be to win the title, not to prove anything to anybody," he said. "If I have a terrible game and we win in the end it's all good. I can already be satisfied about this season. But this is the highest occasion for a football player, also as an individual, so hopefully I can have a good game."
The English referee Howard Webb will take charge of the final.Reuse content