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Jubilant Mourinho salutes his team
A triumphant Jose Mourinho blasted Barcelona for a "lack of fair play, on or off the pitch" after he guided Inter Milan to their first European Cup final since 1972.

Barca won the game 1-0 but it wasn't enough to overturn Inter's 3-1 advantage from the first leg. Mourinho galloped onto the pitch at full time to celebrate with Inter's fans and was involved in a fracas with Barca goalkeeper Victor Valdes, but after leaving the field he accused Barcelona of unfair play.

"Leo Messi is Messi. An incredible talent, from another galaxy, but like all the others he didn't play to his strengths. That should be quality and fair play, but I saw none of it on or off the pitch," Mourinho told RAI. "At 4am we couldn't sleep, as there were fireworks outside the hotel door. We called the police at 11pm and they arrived at 3.30am. A player like Samuel Eto'o who comes back here every few days was harassed by police today when told he had to pay taxes not paid in 2005."

Mourinho also expressed his displeasure at Thiago Motta's red card in the first half. "I can make a guarantee, that next year I'll be back. I always seem to end up being paired with Barcelona and every time something happens,'' he said. "Thiago Motta's card was the same as that for Didier Drogba. Unfortunately Motta lost his cool for a second. I said nothing to him at half-time. I spoke to the rest of the team to explain how they should play and adapt.

"I do not want to judge the referee. I said beforehand that when the players want to help the referee, his job is easy, but tonight some people tried to make life difficult for him. It was a team of heroes, where everyone left their blood on that pitch. I am proud of everyone, those who played and didn't, of the fans who suffered with us here and at home.

"Barcelona did their celebrating beforehand, created some controversy and did some incredible things over the past 24 hours. Now I ask the fans to welcome us at the airport, even if it's tough and they have to work tomorrow. They should arrive at the airport to welcome these spectacular players, as they've earned it.

"I can only imagine how they're enjoying it, as they know how difficult this was. It's hard against Barca with 11 men, but with 10 it's extraordinary. This is the greatest defeat of my life! But my team deserved to draw 0-0 really. Julio Cesar made it seem as if we were playing with 11 men."

As for his altercation with Valdes, Mourinho accused Barcelona of having done their celebrating before the game even started. "I felt an incredible joy,'' he said. ''I have already won the Champions League, but I can say tonight felt better than that. Porto won the final 3-0 and I knew half an hour from the end that we had already won, whereas here it was right to the end.

"Valdes, like the others, expected to win this tie. They had a big surprise at San Siro and when we saw the mess they made with the T-shirts and the people making noise, it became clear they were afraid. In the way we were set out to begin with and all 11 players, we could've won here. Goran Pandev's injury forced us to change and Motta's red card again, it was an incredible game."

Looking ahead to the final, Mourinho said: "Obviously when you reach the final, you want to win it. The fact we faced Barcelona four times on the way and also Chelsea, it means a lot. I reiterate that Inter are now a European force, so if they don't win it this time, they will the next year or the one after.

"I thought my empathy with the Chelsea fans was impossible to find elsewhere, but I have found even more with Inter. It was impossible to see where our fans were in this huge stadium, but at the 85th minute I could hear them and knew they were up there. They suffered with us and we had to thank them."

Mourinho refused to discuss his future though, saying: "We have two finals in Rome - against Lazio in Serie A and the Coppa Italia. That is all I'm focused on right now."

Inter president Massimo Moratti was ecstatic after the match. He told the club's website: "I am very happy, for a team of ten men to beat the world champions at their own ground (shows) great character, great team, individually and as a group. It is infinite happiness.

"Mourinho tonight was a wonderful phenomenon and the boys had immense character. They knew what to do at all times, very good. They played in a really smart way, congratulations to all. I hope that Inter fans are as happy as I am.''

Meanwhile, Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola was philosophical in defeat.

"Congratulations to Inter, they have beaten us over two games and good luck to them - any team can choose how they play and I have no complaints,'' he said. "We tried through the middle and down the wings, but we couldn't find a way through - it was difficult because there was no space between their defence and their midfield and they defended very well.

"We'll pick ourselves up, the players are professional and they will want to win the league."

Barcelona president Joan Laporta urged his side to turn their attention to the defence of their La Liga title.

"Today we have experienced the cruel face of football, but now we have need to lift ourselves and think about the league," he said. "We have a key game against Villarreal in order to have have some joy in La Liga.

"The team deserve an ovation and all our gratitude. They deserve our applause because the players have given their best at every moment.

"Now we need to recover, raise our morale and encourage the team to focus on the league. Now more than ever we need to be with this team.''
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