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Thursday 21 September 2017

Stage is made for Jose

'Special One' will relish another moment in the spotlight as Inter eye a final flourish in Madrid

He is a man who loves to be centre of attention and Jose Mourinho is already the face of this season's Champions League final.

The Portuguese coach, whose Inter Milan side are favourites to beat Bayern Munich, is expected to leave for Real Madrid after tomorrow night's match, but Inter goalkeeper Julio Cesar is certain the self-styled 'Special One' is focused on victory before anything else.

"Mourinho is a systematic type," Cesar said. "He is precise, he takes it very seriously.

"He alone scares opponents. As for a technique to beat Bayern, for now this is a secret. People will have to watch the game on Saturday!"

Mourinho will be looking for a second Champions League title, having made his name when he won it with Porto in 2004.

The league and cup trophies are already secured, but the pressure is on for Mourinho to make up for his failure to win it with Chelsea against a Bayern side not considered Inter's equal in talent.

But Inter striker Samuel Eto'o has sought to ease the pressure on his side by warning the final must not become "an obsession".

The Cameroon striker -- twice a Champions League winner with Barcelona -- insists no good can come from desperation.

"This must be a dream final for us. We will lose if it turns into obsession," he said.

"I know that Inter fans have waited a lifetime for this moment.

"(But) we need the right attitude and the willingness to fight. I've played two finals, but both against English teams.



Spirits

"This is a different story as Bayern are in form and are a great squad."

Bayern are themselves in high spirits ahead of the match.

Winger Arjen Robben and his team-mates are focused on achieving the treble of domestic league and cup and Champions League -- a feat no German club has ever achieved.

"The atmosphere in the team is very good," said Robben, whose decisive goals against Fiorentina and Manchester United made a major contribution to the Bavarians reaching the final for the first time since 2001.

"We are all very happy and proud to be here. We have a great chance to write history."

Robben expects Mourinho to employ defensive tactics in the final.

"It's a little bit maybe defence against attack," he said.

"Mourinho is a pure winning coach. He has his tactics always ready. He doesn't think too much about playing nice football."

Robben, who played under Mourinho when they were both at Chelsea, believes the Portuguese coach would be the ideal man for Real Madrid, the club Robben left after two seasons to join Bayern in 2009. "Mourinho is a very good coach," he said. "For Real Madrid he might be the best."

Robben says he does not see the Champions League final as an opportunity to take revenge on Madrid for selling him.

"I just want to say to the Madrid fans: thank you very much for two great years here," he said. "But now I'm with a different team."

Former Bayern goalkeeper Oliver Kahn has warned the Bavarians not to lower their guard heading into the final.

Kahn was a member of the Bayern side that lifted the trophy in 2001 and he knows exactly what it takes to win the title.

But the former Germany number one also was in the Bayern side which lost dramatically to Manchester United in the final two years earlier, so he can also recall what it feels like to lose a Champions League final.

"You don't win a Champions League final because you have a good team spirit, you only manage this triumph with maximum concentration," he said. "The double has given Bayern self-confidence, but they must now ensure they don't let the tension drop even a millimetre."

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