It will probably be his last Champions League game as the home coach at the Bernabeu, and last night Jose Mourinho demanded that if his players are knocked out against Borussia Dortmund they at least go down fighting.
"We played the first leg as if it was a friendly," he said ahead of tonight's reunion with Jürgen Klopp's team, who have a 4-1 lead from the first leg. "We were so naïve and honest that [Robert] Lewandowski scored four against us and we didn't foul him once; [Cristiano] Ronaldo had been fouled four times in the first five minutes."
Mixed with the call to arms were the obligatory digs at Barcelona and at Franz Beckenbauer, who has claimed the Catalan club will "use all means possible both legal and illegal" to come back from 4-0 down against Bayern Munich tomorrow. "I said something similar when I was at Inter and I had everyone come down on top of me for it. Now it seems it is okay," Mourinho said. "I don't want us to go beyond the rules of the game," he added, ahead of a second leg that will be refereed by one of his favourite officials, Howard Webb.
"We were bad enough in the first game to know that if we play the same we will go out. We have to be compact and aggressive."
A motivational video has been prepared by the club in which the Real players ask the supporters to will the team to victory, but Mourinho said: "The best way to have motivated the supporters would have been to have got a better result in the first leg. You motivate supporters by playing well. We have to get in front [on the night], then start thinking about getting on level terms [on aggregate]. We have to do the job goal by goal, minute by minute."
Mourinho was asked about stories that Carlo Ancelotti had already held talks on replacing him at the end of the season and about the alleged comments made by the Portuguese to Klopp that he would move to London in the summer.
"As he [Klopp] has already said, I did not tell him I was going to Chelsea at the end of the season. And you will have to ask Ancelotti and the club about whether they have spoken to one another," Mourinho said.
Asked if he had the feeling that this was his last Champions League game at Madrid, he replied: "I don't feel anything; I just feel like it's one of Madrid's biggest games in the last 10 years." Defeat would derail his quest to win a third European Cup in a third country but he said: "I have another 10 years to win it again."
Klopp promised a historic night and more of Dortmund's uninhibited attacking football. "If we get to the final it will be historic and if we get knocked out it will also be historic. We have to be brave. We may lose, but we will never freeze," he said.
Probable Bernabeu teams. Referee H Webb (Eng).
Kick-off 7.45pm. First leg Dort 4-1 Real. TV ITV. *Will miss next match if booked tonight