Mourinho over the moon in Madrid

Jose Mourinho says managing Real Madrid is like "reaching the moon" and believes he will still be passionate about coaching when he is 70.

Speaking ahead of Tuesday’s Primera Divison visit of Espanyol, where Madrid will look to continue their steady progress under the Portuguese, Mourinho reflected back on a hugely successful decade since he first started out as a coach.

"These 10 years have passed very quickly. I have the same desire that I had 10 years ago and I think that in another 10 years I will be the same," said the 47-year-old, who last season led Inter Milan to an unprecedented treble of Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League titles.

"I think I will be like (Manchester United manager Sir Alex) Ferguson. I’ll be 70 and I’ll still have the same desire for coaching."

Regarding his summer switch from Inter to the Bernabeu, Mourinho added: "From a prestige point of view, taking over at Real Madrid is like reaching the moon.

"It’s the most important club in the world and it means I’ve arrived at the pinnacle, but I still haven’t won anything.

"We’ll see how the story ends. It’s a story that I still have to construct."

Mourinho, looking to help Madrid end a two-year spell without any silverware, has made a decent start to life in one of the most high-profile and testing jobs in the game.

In his first three league matches Madrid have earned seven points, while they also defeated Ajax in the Champions League.

Madrid are now third in the Primera Division standings following Saturday’s hard-fought 2-1 win at Real Sociedad, but they are just a point better off than tomorrow’s opponents Espanyol.

The Barcelona side have won both of their home matches, beating Getafe and Almeria, but suffered a 4-0 defeat to Villarreal in their away match.

Mourinho said of Mauricio Pochettino’s side: "Espanyol are a talented team that knows how to play good football.

"They will come here to win, just like every team does. We aren’t top of the table, but we’re right up there.

"We need to continue winning and maintaining stability."

Mourinho has lost youngster Sergio Canales for tomorrow’s game.

The summer arrival from Racing Santander has suffered an ankle injury which will keep him sidelined for around three weeks, Madrid announced today.

Canales joins Kaka, Raul Albiol, Ezequiel Garay and Fernando Gago in sitting the game out, so Mourinho has called up every available player in a 20-man squad.

Pochettino is also missing players, with Javi Marquez, Jesus Datolo and Ivan Alonso – who all featured in Saturday’s win over Almeria – absent.

The Espanyol coach said: "They are important players and it would be better if we had everyone available to have more alternatives.

"(But) we are going there (to Madrid) with high hopes, despite not being able to count on certain players.

"I’m happy with the players who are going to play and I think we are going to have a good game."