Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, who has been known to have a sharp tongue with a controversial remark at his call, was in a rather jovial mood after his team reached the Guinness International Champions Cup final Sunday night.
After the Blues polished off A.C. Milan, 2-0, in a second-round encounter before 39,764 at MetLife Stadium, Mourinho welcomed the opportunity to play his former club, Real Madrid, in Wednesday's final.
"It's the best for us," he said. "We want to play against the best teams . . . For us, it's fantastic."
Kevin De Bruyne and Andre Schurrle scored for Chelsea, which meets the Spanish powerhouse at SunLife Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Wednesday night. Milan meets the LA Galaxy in the third-place game the same night.
If there were any animosity toward his former team, Mourinho certainly did not show it at the postmatch news conference. In fact, Mourinho said he organized Real's participation in this tournament even though he knew he was leaving the La Liga club.
"For us, it's very good," he said. "For them, I don't know. We play against a very special team and very special players."
While Mourinho brings an impressive resume to Chelsea in his second tenure with the English Premier League club, he said the team was "not obsessed to win" in this competition.
He said he would follow the same strategy he used against Milan by deploying two teams in each half. He said there was no pressure to win.
"To improve, yes," he said, using the same superlative several times to describe playing Real. "For my defenders, it's fantastic to play against fantastic strikers. For my strikers, it's fantastic to play against defenders. Fantastic experience."
De Bruyne, off an Eden Hazard feed, gave Chelsea a 1-0 lead in the 29th minute as he hit a hard 15-yard roller past goalkeeper Christian Abbiati. Schurrle's volley off a Victor Moses setup gave the Blues some breathing room two minutes into added time.
"It was a good experience for us," Mourinho said. "In preseason we have five victories but zero points, and we need points."
He obviously was referring to the start of the Premier League season later this month, when the results really count.
Milan welcomed the challenge of playing Chelsea.
"Chelsea's a strong team," midfielder Kevin-Price Boateng said. "We're still in our preparation, so that was a good test for us. Everybody was running a lot. We had a lot of pressure in the front and that's the most important. We're not happy we lost the game, but at the end, this doesn't count."
In the first game, Valencia (Spain) rolled over Inter (Italy), 4-0, as Jonathan Viera scored twice -- once in each half -- and created a third. Ever Banega and Jonas also tallied.