Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho has claimed that he signed Luka Modric because the Croatian has a 'touch of class'.
The Portuguese Coach has praised the club's summer signing from Tottenham, asserting to Los Blancos' fans that he is a player they will come to love.
“I know that Luka will appeal to the fans,” he said in an exclusive interview with AS. “And I'm sure he will fit into the squad. He is a talented player with tactical discipline – a team player that is constantly looking for his peers.
“He has a touch of class, of magic, he is the sort player the Bernabeu likes. We have signed Modric because we know he can help us win.”
The former Chelsea and Inter tactician then went on to comment on the situation surrounding Kaka's future at the club.
“I'm sure that Kaka will get his chance. Fatigue, cards, the time between games – all this will mean he gets his chance. I am convinced that when the time comes, Kaka will respond and help Madrid.
“What has happened to Kaka has happened to many great players before. For one reason or another, he hasn't been able to produce for us what he did for his previous clubs.
“Obviously, football is not mathematics. Players are not robots. Kaka suffered physical problems in his first year, and then in his second year he had to have surgery – which meant many months off.
“He did return little by little last season, and when he played, he played very, very well. He has done good things, and as I said before the closing of the transfer window, Kaka at Madrid is not a problem for me.
“I told him that the situation is not easy because we have other options, but he has accepted the challenge, and continues to work hard.”
Mourinho also spoke about the challenge of combating complacency, explaining the motivational techniques he uses.
“To me, I can assure, we will not be complacent. But as Coach, you cannot rule out the possibility of this, and so I'll have to be attentive.
“I tell the players that if they want to be candidates for the Champions League, then they have to play at a high level for the entire campaign. And I will tell you, this does not mean against a particular opponent. If we want to be on top in the Champions League, then we have to be winning the Cup, everything. The first objective is to win.
“I do not mean we have to be perfect, because that is impossible. But we have to try and achieve it, that is a minimum requirement in Madrid.
“I am not saying the players could not be distracted [by the Champions League], but I don't see it as a risk. I have not detected anything in the squad.
“If any players are leaving something in reserve for the Champions League, then they won't play in the competition.
“I'll be very attentive. I analyse everything, everything to do with the players and the team. The squad cannot decide 'this is the competition I want to win, and this one I don't'. You have to go out and win every time.”
The 49-year-old also remarked on the current international calendar, calling the August friendly matches just played 'a disaster'.
“If I was an international Coach I would defend every game to the death. I would probably ask for more games. But as a club Coach, I want the opposite. It is a problem, but we are making progress. Matches now are played as double-headers, so players return to their clubs earlier.
“They are also going to remove the August friendly, which was a disaster. I think the next step is to prohibit intercontinental travel when a player is selected for a friendly during the season.
“Or, you could play friendlies in July, just after the season. This is the perfect time to play games in Asia, Africa, Latin America – continents where they have the right to see the biggest teams in the world.
“I am not against friendly matches, because some selections involve emotional feelings for a country that have to be respected. I just ask for balance.”
Mourinho concluded the interview by not ruling out the possibility of one day coaching the Portuguese national team.
“Well, we'll see. But if so, it will be later rather than sooner. I am 49 now, and will finish this season as a 50-year-old, but I still think like it's the beginning of my career. Today, I feel the same excitement, the same joy that I did the first day I won a match. And I also feel the same anger, the same disappointment as the first day I lost.
“Only when I see pictures of my beginnings at Porto do I realize that I've gotten older. Inside I feel like I did 20 years ago.
“I am a patriot and I have great respect for the meaning of the Seleccao. But at the moment that is not for me.”