Jose Mourinho has opened up about Manchester United’s Champions League prospects for next season, noting that he wants to execute a campaign that aligns with the club’s history.
The Portuguese, despite finishing sixth in the Premier League, secured a place amongst Europe’s elite by winning the Europa League, claiming a comfortable 2-0 win over Ajax in the final.
Man United’s last Champions League campaign ended in ignominy, with Louis van Gaal‘s men only managing third in a group consisting of PSV Eindhoven, Wolfsburg and CSKA Moscow.
And Mourinho, looking ahead to United’s return to the Champions League, noted that he wanted to do the club’s history justice on the European stage.
“The club will always be a giant … but our job is to try to bring the football team back to that stature,” he said.
“That’s something really difficult these days: before, the giants were the powerful ones economically, and now there are small clubs in terms of prestige and history who are giants economically. That changes absolutely everything.
“But my feeling is that I want the team to be on a par with the club’s history, which is something I’ve been lucky enough to feel at every club: there was the same kind of feeling at Inter and Real Madrid.”
The Champions League does not feel right without United, and their presence this time around will be emboldened by the fact that they claimed European glory last season, but how will they fare?
Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, despite finishing above United in the league, were all dwarfed in last year’s competition – another gloomy indictment of English sides slipping further and further away from those actually capable of competing at the highest level.
But Europe knows Mourinho well, and the 54-year-old, needless to say, knows the European stage better than any manager in the Premier League. We should know by now to never, ever rule out Mourinho in the Champions League.