Jose Mourinho had nothing but praise for Xabi Alonso and what his team is doing this season. Bayer Leverkusen looked unrecognizable at the beginning of the season. Then came Xabi who did a great job. Leverkusen will play in the semifinals of the Europa League against AS Roma.
In addition, this German club ranks well in the Bundesliga. “I haven’t seen him for a long time. We’ve always had a fantastic rapport, more than between a coach and a player. Playing against him or Simone [Inzaghi] last week changes nothing.
If I am not wrong, he [Xabi] was coached by [Rafael] Benitez, [Carlo] Ancelotti, [Pep] Guardiola, me and others”. -Mourinho said talking about Xabi Alonso. The Portuguese is cautious before the match with Leverkusen. He noticed many good things about them, but he put special emphasis on the counter-attack of this team.
“I think it’s normal that he takes more inspiration from some coaches more than others. Bayer are the best counter-attacking team I’ve seen, but if he prefers another style it’s another story. Surely, he is very pragmatic.
He uses the style that suits his players more”.
Jose Mourinho on his team
Mourinho is ready to give a chance to many players, and sometimes it is impossible. This will be one of the most important matches for Roma this season.
The most important thing is that everyone is motivated. “The squad is so ready. Do you know what problems I have for tomorrow? In Italy, you can have 15 players on the bench, but in Europe you can only have 12. The players are asking me if they can be on the bench.
Smalling, [Rick] Karsdorp, [Stephan] El Shaarawy all want to be on the bench. I can see they’re all so ready from an emotional point of view that we’re not having a pre-match training camp today."