Heineken Planet Agog As Inter Battle Chelsea
Heineken Planet agog as Inter battle Chelsea
Yemi Olus, with agency reports
March 16, 2010 01:52AM
By the return of Jose Mourinho to Stamford Bridge for the first time since he left Chelsea two seasons ago will be the major attraction tonight in the final reverse second round knockout matches of the UEFA Champions League.
At the Heineken Champions Planet IV, visitors are expected to have a fun-filled time when English Premiership side Chelsea attempts to emulate fellow domestic rival Manchester United and Arsenal to reach the quarter final stage of the competition at the expense of Italian champions, Inter Milan.
Mourinho is confident Inter have the winning mentality to get past Chelsea .
There with his heart
“The good thing is that I don't have far to walk,” he told UEFA.com as he looked forward to the encounter. “From the dressing room to the bench is five metres – I don't have to cross the stadium, I don't have to feel the emotions and reactions from the crowd. I will just sit there and play my game.
“The players play on the pitch, I play outside,” he continued. “They are much more important than me, because on the pitch you win matches, not on the bench. But I will be there with my heart fully on either side. That's what a professional does. I don't hide that Chelsea are a very important part of my life.”
Mourinho's record on the Stamford Bridge is intimidating; he went 60 league games and won back-to-back Premier League titles.
He won the Italian league the first season and the European Champions League with Porto in 2004.
“If the coach does well and the club supports [him], and this is the case; we always modify to improve,” the 47-year-old explained. “We bought a few players, the type of player we did not have last year – a purely creative attacking midfielder in Wesley Snijder. We have more solutions in attack with [Diego] Milito, (Samuel) Eto'o and (Goran) Pandev.
“Of course we lost Zlatan IbrahimoviÄ‡, but with these three players we have more solutions and more options. Also, Lucio is the type of central defender we didn't have – tall, strong in the air. I think we are more adapted to the needs of the modern game.”
Apart from recruitment, Mourinho also credits his players with they are also mentally stronger. He buttressed the players' mental toughness with the 4-3 win against AC Siena in which Walter Samuel scored a stoppage time goal, playing as a centre-forward. “The Siena match is a good example of what we are,” Mourinho told UEFA.Com . “We were losing and scored the equaliser for 3-3 in the 91st minute. A normal team, normal players and coaches, would have said 'Okay, we did it, we have a point, we did not lose, it's done.' But I was shouting to the players 'Three minutes to go, three more minutes.' You can win or you can lose. We won.
“Samuel was asking me, 'Do I go back?' My reply was, 'No, don't go back – stay up for three more minutes and see what happens.' It was my decision, but a coach can only be arrogant, can only have this winning mentality, if he knows the players' response is good.”
The refurbished Planet House still maintains its unique opulent nature and provides a relaxing ambience for Heineken consumers and fans to enjoy the games with captains of industry, celebrities and prominent former Super Eagles stars.
This evening, when the quest for which of the teams will pick the remaining four quarter final ticket gets under way, coach Carlos Anceloti has a major task most especially in Mourinho's mind game to cancel the 1-2 loss at San Siro Stadium during the first leg.
In the other match of the day, Spanish top side Sevilla will host CSKA Moscow in the return leg after a useful 1-1 score line in the Russian capital two weeks ago.
Aside the football matches, the marketing director of Nigerian Breweries Plc, Jacco Van der Linden, had disclosed during the formal opening of the new look Planet House that visitors would be engaged in fun and exciting activities like table soccer, swimming, golf and chess while all the games are aired on all the screens available in the HCP.