Inter boss Mourinho: Italian football needs to fix battered image

Mourinho told Italian sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport that Serie A needed to make changes if it was to avoid losing more ground on the Premier League in England and La Liga in Spain.

Mourinho said that Italy can recover the gap "by taking on this global struggle, all together," before suggesting teams would need to take a less cynical approach to winning, and focus their efforts on producing football that is enjoyable to watch. "We have to begin with a winning mentality in every game. We have to request that, if you don't win, you at least play well, and that if you lose while entertaining you can't be criticised."

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After a season in which two supporters were killed in separate incidents while travelling to Serie A matches, and in which away supporters were banned from travelling to a number of games, Mourinho said that changing fans' attitudes was essential.

"[We must] make the fans more responsible and change their relationships with the police," said Mourinho. "In other countries we don't see nice images. We see violence, deaths, fans who are banned from travelling to away games.

"I will never forget that my bench at Chelsea was three metres away from the fans: I could see fathers, sons, women, children, families. There football was without fear, in 20 years time those kids will be passionate fans. I can take my son to the stadium and be calm: whatever the result, life will go on. I would be proud, one day, to have contributed to changing calcio. Why shouldn't things be like this, one day, in Italy too?"

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