Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho cherishes memories, not trophies and medals.
Victory against Crystal Palace tomorrow will see the Blues wrap up a first Premier League title in five years and Mourinho’s third in the competition.
If — or more likely, when — Chelsea win the title, Mourinho will be engulfed by a wave of emotion and reflection, before “five minutes later” looking forward to masterminding the next success.
“The meaning is the important thing. The feeling, the emotion is what stays forever,” Mourinho said.
“I have replicas of every cup I won and I don’t care about the replicas. Or the medals.
“I really don’t care. What stays forever is the feeling, the emotion, the memory of the moment.
“I have clear in my memory every one of these moments I lived.”
Mourinho describes the moment when the referee blows the final whistle on a triumph, such as the Capital One Cup success at Wembley earlier this season, or the imminent league win, as “like a flash”.
He added: “You have like a flash of the people you love most, the people who are with you, a little bit of the most important moments that lead to that trophy.
“It’s like a quick flash. And, with me, five minutes later, move on.”
Mourinho has won 21 trophies in his career, with domestic titles in Portugal, England, Italy and Spain.
His third Premier League title, after wins in 2004/05 and 2005/06, would be his first championship success since Real Madrid’s Primera Division win in 2011/12.
Mourinho added: “I don’t think it’s normal to win a title every season, unless you choose one of the countries and clubs where even the kit man as manager wins it. In here (England), it’s difficult.”
Chelsea enter this weekend’s Premier League fixtures 13 points clear of Manchester City and Arsenal with four games to go. The Blues have seen commanding leads wiped out earlier this season, but everyone anticipates victory now, with Mourinho enjoying the run-in.
“I prefer because it depends on you,” he said.
“When people sometimes say ‘it’s yours to lose’, ‘you’re under pressure’... we are not under pressure. The pressure is on the teams who have to win and wait for us to lose.
“Since March, when we recovered the distance we’d lost in December, the problem was for the others. They had to win.
“Some of them had fantastic runs. Man United had victories consecutive, Arsenal too, but they couldn’t close the gap.
“For us, it was just about us. Nothing else matters. This weekend we don’t care about Hull City v Arsenal (on Monday), or United v West Brom. It’s just about us.
“When it goes to the countdown, I like the feeling that we have to force it. We can’t wait for it. I like the feeling of the last month: come on, let’s go, we need four victories, three victories, two.
“I like this feeling of being almost there but not there. I like this. I like this last push.
“We need two or three points to be champions. Let’s say three to make sure we don’t depend on goal difference. We need a victory or we need three points with three draws.
“Obviously we want to finish as soon as possible. If we can do it at home, better.
“If we can do on Sunday, even better. That’s what we have in our minds.”
Diego Costa’s 19 Premier League goals have been integral to Chelsea’s title push, particularly at the beginning of the season when the £32m signing from Atletico Madrid made a seamless transition to English football. Costa’s season has been punctuated by hamstring problems and he may not play again this term if Chelsea win on Sunday.
“No, just isn’t worth the risk,” said Mourinho, insisting the Spain striker has not suffered a setback.
“We don’t need to rush. We are trying to give the maximum stability for him to be stronger and stronger.”
Meanwhile Palace manager Alan Pardew has rejected any semblance of transfer interest in Yannick Bolasie.
Following Pardew’s claim before last weekend’s defeat to Hull that Bolasie would be worth as much as £60m, the speculation has begun about who could match it.
That market value has, in fact, been trebled by Pardew since early April, when Bolasie was rated at £20m with Liverpool seemingly interested.
On the field, Bolasie has been in fine form, scoring a hat-trick against Sunderland on April 11 although he failed to make an impact when Palace lost to Hull.
Nevertheless, when pressed about any further interest in the former Bristol City man, Pardew said: “No one’s come in for Yannick.
“He was disappointed last week, he needs to hope that he gets selected this week.”
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