Belfast Telegraph

Chelsea train harder than PSG play, insists Jose Mourinho

By Sam Wallace

Jose Mourinho has raised the stakes ahead of tonight's Champions League last-16 second-leg tie with Paris Saint-Germain by claiming that Chelsea have more competitive games in their training sessions than the French champions do in Ligue 1.

Mourinho's team have not played since they defeated West Ham 1-0 last Wednesday, while PSG beat Lens 4-1 in the French league on Saturday - a game that the Chelsea manager said had a lower intensity than his squad's training session on the same day.

It was a remark that formed part of an answer to the question of whether the Premier League could claim to be the strongest league in the world if Chelsea were the only English side who made it into the last eight of the Champions League.

"I think so," Mourinho said. "Do you imagine for example, in the quarter-finals, looking to the fixtures, the English team in the Champions League competing with Bayern Munich that has 11-points advantage?

"They can play with a second team (in the Bundesliga) without any kind of pressure.

"Even PSG, I saw their game on Saturday. I think our training session on Saturday was harder than their game on Saturday.

"My players on Sunday, they were resting from the hard training session on the Saturday. I think on Sunday their (PSG) players were not resting from their game against Lens. It's more difficult for English clubs.

"Do you think it's normal where Everton are (14th) in the Premier League? It's not normal, but they play every Thursday in the Europa League and travel and come back and play again on Sundays.

"This league is very difficult and the Champions League is a completely different situation."

With the tie delicately poised at 1-1 from the first leg in Paris, Mourinho also said that his team did not need the same bonus incentive that will see the PSG players paid €250,000 (£178,000) each for prevailing in the tie.

The Chelsea manager said that he was only paid bonuses for winning trophies and had not been on a bonus programme based on round-by-round progression since he was manager of Porto.

Mourinho said: "The club pay us a very good salary to do our job the best we can. We do that job as best we can.

"If we take the club into quarter-finals, semi-finals, finals, but we don't win the competition, we are doing a very good job for the club financially.

"I don't think we should get extra money, on top of our salaries, if we don't win the last prize.

"When you win (a trophy), you can get an extra bonus. The pride of victories. They have no price."

Champion League: Stamford Bridge, 7.45 pm (Sky)

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