Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho feels his players showed great character in their Champions League win at Apoel Nicosia.

Real left it late, but hit home three goals in the first-leg triumph.

Mourinho said: "I'm happy with my team because things would have been easier for our opponent had we not given a serious and combative performance. Marcelo and Kaka came on in a privileged time during which APOEL's physical potential was beginning to falter. It is impossible to compare Fabio and Marcelo because there is no point of comparison possible between them.

"I shook hands with the APOEL players before I did so with mine because I have time to do so later in the dressing room. We gave a solid and serious performance. I would like to show them as much respect at the Bernabeu because they are the most important team in this Champions League; any of the other seven teams are pursuing something they've achieved before, but APOEL have never won the title."