He said he always knew that a game with Real Madrid was going to be tough, and also admitted that his team struggled to get into its rhythm. He added that he had been thoroughly impressed by Mourinho’s team and praised his players for what he described as a ‘titanic effort’.
The Portuguese coach only returned to the media spotlight on Saturday after completing his five-match ban for suggesting referees favoured Barcelona - and seems to have returned to voluntary exile. Karanka was left to field questions at the press conference but played down the situation, saying: ''This was a dynamic we used last year.''
"I did not expect to be a starter and it was a surprise to be able to play because there were players like Xavi and Iniesta," he told reporters after the match. "I am very happy. Despite Barcelona holding a slight advantage for the second leg at Camp Nou following a 2-2 draw in Madrid, Thiago insisted that they are taking nothing for granted. I believe there are no favourites, this is a two-legged tie and we did our part," stated the midfielder. "There are 90 minutes remaining."
The Spanish capital club had their penalty claim dismissed by the referee in the 82nd minute as goalkeeper Victor Valdes caught Ronaldo's legs with his right arm and prevented the Portugal international from reaching the ball. "It was a clear penalty, no doubt about it," commented Ronaldo to Marca.
The 25-year-old told the club's official website: "We had many chances to score and that's why this result seems insufficient. We played well and were superior in my opinion. "We were a lot better than in recent games against Barcelona. "We put in a great performance and always knew what had to be done. We kept possession longer, but we lacked the luck we've had on goal in other matches."
La Liga - Spanish sides lose out on Valdez - Yahoo! Eurosport
Espanyol and Getafe, along with two Premier League clubs, were rumoured to be keen on landing the 27-year-old striker, but Rubin have won the race for his signature. Valdez, who joined Hercules in 2010 and scored eight goals in 25 appearances, is believed to have cost Rubin €5million (£4.3m) and has signed a four-year contract with the Russian outfit.
La Liga - Falcao wants Atletico move - Yahoo! Eurosport
Falcao told A Bola: "Every player thinks about playing in one of the major leagues like Spain, Italy or England; anyone who says otherwise is a liar. "Atletico Madrid have great fans and it would be a great opportunity for my career. At the moment I am waiting to see what the solution to my future is."
Former Spain international Mista retires from football - Goal.com
Former Spain and Valencia striker Mista has announced he has decided to hang up his boots. The 32-year-old was persistently afflicted by a pubis injury after joining MLS side Toronto FC in the summer of 2010 which prevented him from performing to the best of his abilities.
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