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Mourinho calls for U.S.-style timeouts

Story highlights

  • Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho calls for introduction of U.S style timeouts
  • American Football, Basketball and Ice Hockey employ timeouts
  • Mourinho suggested the timeout should come halfway through the first half
  • The Portuguese coach reveals Mario Balotelli once ignored a half-time team talk

Clad in his trademark black overcoat Jose Mourinho famously sprinted down Old Trafford's touchline eight years ago to celebrate Porto's last-gasp equalizer which knocked Manchester United out of the European Champions League.

And if Mourinho gets his way the Real Madrid coach will be spending much more time on the touchline -- the Portuguese coach wants football's authorities to introduce a timeout system.

Widely employed in sports such as American football, basketball and ice hockey, timeouts allow a coach to talk directly to their players when a game is stopped. At present soccer coaches are only allowed to give tactical advice to their players at half time.

"It's something that I think football could improve a little bit," Mourinho, who celebrated Real's recent win over Manchester City in the Champions League by sliding on to his knees on the Bernabeu turf, told CNN in an exclusive interview.

"It would be to allow during a match to find a way to allow the coach to have a relation with the players."

Real's coach suggested that the timeout should come midway through the first half.

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"You could ask for a minute like the American sports have. It probably would be a solution, or give us some more freedom to walk around the touchline."

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Mourinho's career at Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real has been characterized by meticulous planning and his use of early double or triple substitutions to change the course of a game.

But he revealed he was flexible in his approach to the way he delivered his half-time team talks.

"Sometimes, it's emotionally. Sometimes, it's spontaneous. Sometimes, you don't think and sometimes, you don't have time to think," said Mourinho. "But many other times, of course, I prepare myself.

"Even when I'm in the match, the last 10 minutes of the first half, more than analyzing the game, I'm preparing myself for half-time because that's when I can have an impact on the players.

"I can help the players to improve and to win a match, so I try to be an observer and I try to analyze the game during the first 30-35 minutes of the first half and the last 10 minutes, I am preparing myself for my direct contact with the players."

The Real coach added: "Players are incredible artists and during the match, sometimes they express themselves in a way where they're not even thinking about it. They do things where they don't think. And I think with coaches, it can happen the same."

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However, Mourinho admitted that his advice was not always heeded by his players.

Notably when he was Inter Milan coach and devoted the majority of a half-time team talk pleading with Italian forward Mario Balotelli to take care and not get sent off in a Champions League game against Rubin Kazan.

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But Mourinho's words of wisdom fell on deaf ears and almost immediately after the restart the enigmatic Balotelli picked up a red card.

"I could write a book of 200 pages of my two years at Inter with Mario, but the book would be not a drama, the book would be a comedy because he's a funny, he's a funny kid," said Mourinho.

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More seriously, Mourinho suggested Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini might be the only coach who could persuade Balotelli, who scored a late equalizer for City in the 1-1 Champions League draw with Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday, to maximize his formidable talent.

"Mancini was his first coach as a professional, so before me," said Mourinho. "So for sure the same feeling I have, Mancini has probably even more than Mario.

"You know, Mario was 18 with Mancini at Inter, was 20 with me. Now, he should be 22, so the natural tendency is that he grows up and becomes the player that the talent he has.

"I've no contact with Mario in this moment, but I hope so. I hope so, and Roberto knows him well, speaks the same language, knows him since he was a kid, so if he doesn't do it with Roberto, it will be difficult to do with another one, but I hope so because he's a talent."

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