Jose Mourinho said Real Madrid has prospered financially by exiting European soccer’s Champions League at the semifinal stage for three straight years.
Madrid again missed out on the final after a 2-0 home win last night, which wasn’t enough to overcome a 4-1 loss to Borussia Dortmund (BVB) in the opener of the two-game series.
Real, the world’s biggest soccer club by sales, received 77.7 million euros ($102.3 million) in prize money by reaching the round of four in 2011 and 2012, according to data released by tournament organizer UEFA.
“Financially, it has been fantastic: we got prize money without having to pay bonuses” to players, Mourinho told a news conference. “But Real Madrid’s nature isn’t to be happy with almost” winning.
Real lost to Bayern Munich at the same stage last season and was beaten by Barcelona a year earlier. Barcelona paid out about 20 million euros in bonuses to players when it won the 2011 Champions League, erasing much of the income it generated from the tournament, according to Vice-President Javier Faus.
Real, which won the last of its record nine European titles in 2002, hadn’t reached the quarterfinals of the continent’s elite club competition for seven straight years before Mourinho arrived. The Portuguese coach won the Champions League with Porto in 2004 and with Inter Milan in 2010.
The 50-year-old Mourinho declined to say whether he will stay at Real after the end of the season.
Mourinho spent three years through September 2007 at Chelsea, leading the club to two Premier League titles, and said he feels more appreciated in England than in Spain.
“In England I am loved by some clubs, especially one,” he said. “In Spain, the situation is different because some people hate me. Many of you are in this room.”
Dortmund is in the final for the first time since it beat Juventus 3-1 in the 1997 championship match. It will play the winner of today’s semifinal between Barcelona and Bayern Munich, which has a 4-0 lead over the Spanish team from the first game.
Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp said it was “one of the greatest moments” of his life to reach the May 25 final at London’s Wembley Stadium, an arena that he said he’s never visited.
“We don’t want to be tourists,” he said.
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