Jose Mourinho: Madrid have to be strong to overcome the adverse conditions in Moscow

The Portuguese coach reckons that the Blancos will have to turn in a good display to overcome the freezing conditions and the artificial pitch at the Luzhniki Stadium
Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho says his side will need to be at their best in Tuesday's Champions League contest against CSKA Moscow.

The Portuguese coach reckons that the artificial turf at the Luzhniki Stadium and the temperatures in Moscow, which could be minus 10 degrees Celsius at the time of the match, pose an extra challenge for Madrid in the first leg of the round of 16 tie.

"We will have to be stronger than the conditions, which are difficult and different," Mourinho told reporters at a press conference.

"Synthetic [pitch] is not the same as natural [pitch]. Minus 10 degrees is not the same as 10 degrees.

"We must be at the top of our game to overcome these factors."

Mourinho then stated that he expects CSKA to give Madrid a hard time, having faced the Russian side during his time in charge of Chelsea and Inter.

"Many players are the same," he said. "This is a great advantage for any team.

"They lost [Vagner] Love, but they signed [Seydou] Doumbia. CSKA have the economic potential to compete abroad.

"Year after year, they are in the Champions League and it is normal to see them go past the group stage. They are a difficult opponent and we will have to respect them."

The Portuguese coach then praised Karim Benzema, who has taken his goal tally to 21 following his double against Racing Santander on Saturday.

"He has been playing very well for the team," Mourinho added. "Everyone who is following him, day after day, thinks that he is one of the players who has improved the most.

"He is playing very well, scoring goals and doing very good work on the pitch. He is becoming a great No.9.

"I do not want to talk about the Ballon d'Or. We all agree that in the group we must think about the team and forget about individual situations.

"We want to win an important title. We are doing well in the league and we want to do something big in the Champions League."