New boss José Mourinho said Real Madrid CF were "as hungry for their tenth European Championshop as I am for my third" as he looked for a positive Group G start against AFC Ajax.
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José Mourinho said Real Madrid CF were "as hungry for their tenth European Championshop as I am for my third" as he looks for a positive start to Group G against AFC Ajax. Martin Jol is not looking so far ahead, especially as he is without suspended duo Jan Vertonghen and Luis Suárez. His biggest job could be focusing the minds of younger players realising their "dream" of playing at the Santiago Bernabéu.
José Mourinho, Madrid coach
Madrid have history in this competition and so do I, so if we can come together we should feel optimistic about achieving something positive. Madrid are as hungry for their tenth European Championshop as I am for my third. The objective now is to grow as a team and to qualify from a group that's far from easy.
The Champions League is the one everybody wants to win but it's a competition that's more about details, and for that reason it's not the best team that wins the trophy. Ajax have a great history, just like Real Madrid. Both teams are giants in the history of football but now both need to find their way back to European success.
Martin Jol, Ajax coach
A team that have won the European Champion Clubs' Cup nine times against one that has won it on four occasions is obviously going to convert into one of the biggest games in Europe. I don't know if Mourinho is playing a little by saying that we have an advantage – they have the best players – but I understand why he said that.
The absence of Luis Suárez and Vertonghen is unusual for us but we are motivated and have no problem playing without them. Suárez scores about 50% of our goals but we're confident we can score one or two without him. Ajax are about to play against one of the biggest teams in the world; that's the level we are at at the moment. It's a great experience for everyone, myself included. For a lot of the younger ones it's an absolute dream to play this game.
Fernando Gago (sprained left knee ligaments), Ezequiel Garay (right knee) and Raúl Albiol (sprained right ankle) remain sidelined, while Kaká could miss the whole group stage after undergoing surgery on his left knee in early August.
Jol praised the Vitesse medical staff for "keeping Evander Sno alive" after the midfielder suffered a cardiac arrest on Saturday. Jan Vertonghen and Luis Suárez serve one-game bans on Matchday 1. Kenneth Vermeer (torn Achilles tendon), Nicolás Lodeiro (broken foot), Thimothée Atouba (left knee) and Rasmus Lindgren (right knee) are all out.
11/09/10 Madrid 1-0 CA Osasuna
Ricardo Carvalho scored his first league goal in almost two years, since registering in Chelsea FC's 3-1 win at Manchester City FC on 13 September 2008. Pepe returned following a calf injury, while Sami Khedira, Mesut Özil and Karim Benzema were preferred to Lassana Diarra, Sergio Canales and Ángel Di María.
11/09/10 Ajax 2-0 Willem II
(Suárez 33pen 54pen)
Suárez has now scored 80 goals in 100 Eredivisie appearances for Ajax. His side have won 18 of their last 19 league matches and are unbeaten in 23 Eredivisie games since a 2-0 defeat at FC Utrecht on 6 December.
Did you know?
Mourinho faced Jol in seven London derbies during their respective reigns at Chelsea FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC from 2004 to 2007. Mourinho recorded five wins to Jol's one.
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