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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Football

Mourinho praises Bayern ahead of Super Cup clash
AFP
Berlin, August 27, 2013
First Published: 20:43 IST(27/8/2013)
Last Updated: 20:47 IST(27/8/2013)

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has praised treble-winning Bayern Munich ahead of Friday's UEFA Super Cup clash and said he wants to measure his side against the European champions.

Bayern became the first German team to win the treble of league, cup and Champions League titles last season under previous coach Jupp Heynckes, winning the Bundesliga by 25 points while breaking or equalling 25 league records.
   
Chelsea, who won last season's Europa League title, square off against Pep Guardiola-coached Bayern at Prague's Eden Arena stadium and the 50-year-old Mourinho was full of praise for the Bavarians' achievements.
   
"With Bayern, what impresses me was always the difficulty of achieving a treble and only great teams with a great mentality and fantastic football qualities manage it,"  Mourinho, who is back at Stamford Bridge after three years coaching Real Madrid, told UEFA.com.
   
"To keep that level and that ambition in all three competitions was fantastic, it was remarkable, it was unbelievable work by Mr Heynckes.
   
"Of course I was impressed by the way they performed all last season."
   
The Prague showdown will see former Real boss Mourinho continue his rivalry with ex-Barcelona coach Guardiola, who took charge of Bayern in June after winning 14 titles in four years at the Camp Nou between 2008 and 2012.
   
With the group stages of this season's Champions League to be drawn on Thursday, Mourinho said he is looking forward to seeing how his side measure up against Bayern, 24 hours after they discover their European opponents.
   
"To play against the best team in the world in the last year is a big challenge for us," said Mourinho after Chelsea beat Bayern in Munich in the 2012 Champions League final.
   
"It is good for us to measure where we are in terms of playing against the best, because on that day we will know (our draw for) the group phase of the Champions League and it's a big target for us to go through the group phase."
   
Chelsea are top of England's Premier League with seven points from their first three games after drawing with Manchester United on Monday while Bayern are at Freiburg on Tuesday in the Bundesliga.
   
They trail Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen only on goal difference with all three clubs having won their opening trio of fixtures.


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