Friday 23 August 2019

'No one recognised me' - Jose Mourinho walks half mile to Old Trafford after team bus gets stuck in traffic again

General view of Old Trafford before the match Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff
General view of Old Trafford before the match Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

Jason Burt

Jose Mourinho walked the last half mile to Old Trafford as Manchester United’s team bus was again stuck in traffic ahead of their Champions League tie at home to Juventus.

The United manager left the bus in frustration, along with members of his coaching staff, after it became grid-locked. The United players stayed on the bus with fears that the 8pm kick-off might be delayed.

It has been suggested that Mourinho also told the players to walk with him but this would not be allowed by Uefa for safety reasons.

United had even switched hotels, staying at the Hilton in Manchester instead of their usual residence at the Lowry Hotel to try and avoid road works and traffic.

The club were fined £13,000 by Uefa for their late arrival and subsequent late kick-off in their last Champions League home tie against Valencia.

“We change hotel, it’s just around the corner,” Mourinho said. “The players are in the bus for 45 minutes. I walked, with a hoodie, in the middle of the fans, nobody recognised me. I took two minutes! What I do in two minutes walking, the players cannot do in 45 minutes on the bus. But Juventus is having the same kind of problem. I have informed the Uefa delegate about the situation, because we don’t want to be punished again.”

The United team bus finally arrived at Old Trafford at 7.09pm which was less than the hour before kick-off that Uefa insist the squads need to arrive by.

Uefa confirmed that the game would start on time at 8pm.

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