(AFP) – May 20, 2008
LONDON (AFP) — Former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho said Tuesday there is nothing to choose between his old side and Manchester United in Wednesday's Champions League final in Moscow, while UEFA supremo Michel Platini said he did not fear English domination of the event.
"It will be a very close call and I think it's really a 50/50 match. There are no secrets between these two teams and they have showed that time and time again," Mourinho told Feelfootball.com website sponsored by Ford.
"They have showed that in the Premiership this year, by finishing first and second, they showed that over the past few years where only Man United and Chelsea won the Premiership, and they showed that when they faced each other, for example, in the (2007) FA Cup Final, where only the extra time could resolve the result."
Mourinho, 45, lifted the Champions League with Porto before guiding Chelsea to two Premiership titles and an FA Cup, but could only lead the Blues to the Champions League semi-finals in his time at Stamford Bridge before leaving last autumn.
His successor Avram Grant has thus created history by guiding the London side to their first ever Champions League Final, overcoming Liverpool, who twice proved a bridge too far for Chelsea in 2005 and 2007.
Mourinho believes both sides will equally feel the pressure on Wednesday.
"A final is a final, and in finals we cannot speak about the favourite - especially between two teams from the same country," Mourinho told Feelfootball.com.
Platini, speaking in Moscow, said meanwhile he did not fear domination of the Champions League by English sides despite the all-Premiership final this year.
"I am not afraid of that at all," Platini insisted.
"In 2002, when there were two Spanish clubs (Real Madrid and Valencia) and in 2003 when there were two Italian sides in the final (AC Milan and Juventus) I said the same."
Nonetheless, from next year the Champions League format will alter slightly with the second, third and fourth-placed sides of some leagues playing qualifiers in a bid aimed ultimately at creating greater scope for representation from some smaller leagues.
Platini had originally wanted national Cup winners to enter additionally but that plan was knocked back.
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