"I have faith in those of my men who have played less because they've given me reasons to so far"
Jose Mourinho talked to the press the day before facing Ponferradina at the Bernabeu in the return leg of the Copa del Rey Round of 32.
"The result we earned in the first leg is good, but not definitive. The tie will be left wide open if Ponferradina score first tomorrow and, if their motivation was high at their stadium, I presume it will be even higher at the Bernabeu. They are a quality side that can complicate things for us. I have faith in those of my men who have played less because they've given me reasons to so far. It's not that the others need to rest; these men deserve to play too."
"It's difficult to evaluate at the end of the actual year in football because the new year comes half-way through the season. We've done a good job so far. We top the league table, we've won our six games in the Champions League and also our only match so far in the Copa. We've had six very good months. In another league championship this Real Madrid would easily win the title."
"The most important thing about Benzema is his collaboration and contribution to the team. We've reached an agreement by which we deem it more important for Higuian to have two extra days off because it will make it easier for him to return home. It's easier for Karim to return to France. Higuain played the first leg and the collaboration between both players is good both for the team and for them. They are both scoring goals and collaborating for the team. What matters is that they both feel useful. The competition amongst them is good for us and for them."
"There will be a break for a week, but I'd rather we played because I like giving people what they want. People who love football would like to see the sport being played in the holiday season. The players are artists that give people the show they want. But we adapt to the situation with ease and the players' families also deserve to spend a special week with them. We will train again on 29 December."
"We have 21 outfield players on the squad and I decide who plays depending on the moment, the shape each player is in, the injuries, etc. All my men are healthy and my option is currently to use Xabi Alonso and Lass in midfield because they are doing a very good job. Granero has to keep working. He will play tomorrow; he'll get his chance. He always gives a serious performance, showcasing drive and personality. He is also a Madridista and I expect him to play a serious game."
"It's sometimes important to surprise your opponents. Sevilla expected a different game and another positional number '10' like Kaka and Ozil. They are my number '10s' unless I decide to use someone else due to the nature of the game. Playing Di Maria paid off and both Kaka and Ozil are as happy as those who played the game."
"We must play our matches and only focus on Barcelona when we must face them. We've taken more points in La Liga in all of 2011 than any other side and we've had the best run in the history of the Champions League group stage. We also won the Copa del Rey. Barcelona are a very good team and a direct opponent in every championship we play. I wish to congratulate them for the title they recently won, although I believe winning the Champions League is more impoprtant."