'We built Mourinho a swimming pool but we offered it to Zidane first'

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There was a stand-off for the facilities at the UCLA campus over the summer before ICC organiser Charlie Stillitano stepped in and solved the problem

When Manchester United and Real Madrid decided they both wanted to use UCLA as their California base for the summer's International Champions Cup the organisers saw one problem. While they could comfortably accommodate both teams with high-class training and changing facilities, there was only one swimming pool.  

Mourinho had used UCLA for his American base through tours with Chelsea and Real Madrid and Zidane was also used to the facilities on offer having spent the last few years either coaching or assisting with Madrid. 

Neither would face moving elsewhere and enduring the stifling humidity so ICC organiser Charlie Stillitano had a plan. 

"The only thing that separated these two camps was the pool," Stillitano told Goal. "So I basically said: 'Who wants me to build them a pool?'

"So we built them a pool. And Jose was really happy with what he had.

"To be fair we offered it to Zizou first. It was a funny situation because in the States the weather is quite different in the summer time.

"It more or less comes down to humidity versus no humidity. And of course everyone wants no humidity.

"So they all want to base themselves in southern California and places like this which is maybe a little further away but the climate’s better for them."

Zinedine Zidane Real Madrid

The two teams met on July 23 in California with Man Utd winning out 2-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw. 

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"This is a classic example where Jose had used UCLA from the time he was with Chelsea, to the time he was with Real Madrid, to the time he was back with Chelsea again, to now he’s with United," said Stillitano. "And he’s like 'I want my place' so we basically said we had to even it out.

"There is great competition among these clubs, I wouldn’t even say a friendly way. They want to be treated like they’re No.1 and I had a great statement from Umberto Gandini when he was at AC Milan.

"He said it’s OK if you pay them more than us if they’re drawing more people, we can live with that. What we can’t live with is being treated differently on the ground. So we treat everyone identically."

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