The former Real Madrid boss made no secret of his desire to see one of the tournament's traditional heavyweights fall, but warned that those teams will always have an advantage
The Portuguese named Brazil, Argentina, Germany and Netherlands as his favourites for the trophy, but is eager to see an unfancied side like quarter-finalists Costa Rica upset the odds in South America.
“Semi-finals between Brazil, Argentina, Germany and Netherlands could be perfectly normal semi-finals,” he said to Eurosport.
“But I would love to see something not normal, and to see something not normal is to see one of these outsiders playing so well.
“They have fantastic spirit and I would like to see one of them break this dominance and be in the semi-finals at least. Let’s see what is waiting for us.”
Both Brazil and Costa Rica needed a penalty shootout to reach the last-eight of the World Cup and Mourinho believes the more talented teams will always be favoured in such high-pressure situations.
“Normally the players at the highest level are the players more ready to cope with these moments of pressure,” he added.
“That’s why Germany always reach the latter stages of competitions and why Argentina and Brazil also reach the last four or sometimes the finals. It’s because of the individual talent that they have.”
Brazil and Costa Rica will square off against Colombia and Netherlands respectively in the quarter-finals, with the other last-eight participants yet to be determined.