• ‘Of course we can still do it,’ insists Real’s José Mourinho
• Jürgen Klopp agrees Champions League semi far from over.
Dortmund’s Jürgen Klopp looks on as Real Madrid’s José Mourinho gestures during their Champions League semi-final. Photograph: Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images
José Mourinho said that Real Madrid would turn round their semi-final deficit against Borussia Dortmund or die trying after they were thrashed 4-1 in Germany on Wednesday night, all four of the hosts’ goals coming from the coveted Polish striker Robert Lewandowski.
Madrid conceded those four just 24 hours after Barcelona had done the same against Bayern Munich but Cristiano Ronaldo’s away goal gave them a glimmer of hope for the Santiago Bernabéu on Tuesday and the Portuguese coach insisted: “Nothing is impossible in football.”
Dortmund’s manager, Jürgen Klopp, agreed that the tie was not over and insisted that whatever happened next this would be a historic night for the club. “That was like Robin Hood taking from the rich,” he said, adding that he would not be leaving at the end of the season and that he did not expect Lewandowski to depart either. There have been reports of an approach for the striker from Bayern Munich and of offers from English clubs, too, but Klopp insisted the 24-year-old would stay.
Mourinho said: “It is obvious that Dortmund were the better side. They were more aggressive physically and mentally and they won virtually all the duels. I have the feeling that every goal was a mistake. And we had one or two more [mistakes] that could have [made the score] worse too but our goalkeeper made good saves.
“Over the last three years at Madrid I have met lots of people and they have told me lots of things about the club, including the importance of the Bernabéu [on European nights],” Mourinho continued. “Things seem impossible but they are not. There is still hope. If you asked the players now if there is a chance, they would say ‘no’. Ask them in an hour and they will say ‘yes’. By next Tuesday they will be ready to go for it and give everything.
“Of course we can do it. On a crazy night where everyone performs at a high level and you score every chance, you can do it. What you cannot do is get knocked out without dying on the pitch. If we are knocked out I want [Dortmund] to suffer and I want the Madrid players to leave the pitch with absolutely nothing left to give.”
Klopp added: “This will go down in the club’s history books. I hope soon they will show a film in the club’s museum of the goals by Lewandowski tonight but that will only happen if we win on Tuesday. The goals were incredible; the third is worth every single cent of what the TV channels pay for the rights.
“I would never have dreamed that we would score four in a semi-final of the Champions League. If we lose 3-0, we’re out. If 4-1, it’s extra-time. So it’s not over but whatever happens we will give our best and let’s not ruin the pleasure of this night.
“Lewandowski is quality [because of] his mentality, his fitness, what he thinks about football, how cool he is,” Klopp said, adding: “And I am sure he will stay.”
So too will Klopp, even though he is realistic enough to know that one of the consequences of this success is that it makes the breakup of the side more likely. “I have told the journalists that they can write what they want, but I will stay,” he said. “That might not be the best news for some of the players but it is the truth so it’s no problem.
“The better you get the more the other teams want your players; you cannot be successful and have nobody recognise it. Every year we lost one brilliant player and we get better and better and better. It is no problem because we know we have to concentrate on the next match and not think about next year. This team’s mentality is to enjoy each day that we are together and then we will see at the end of the season.”