Sunday 23 September 2018

The full transcript of Jose Mourinho's extraordinary 12 minute rant defending his record as Man United manager

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has come under-fire for his criticism of his players and the club's heritage in recent days Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff/File Photo
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has come under-fire for his criticism of his players and the club's heritage in recent days Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff/File Photo

Simon Peach

Under-fire Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho went on an extraordinary, wide-ranging rant ahead of the crucial FA Cup quarter-final against Brighton.

With the club reeling from Tuesday's surprise Champions League last-16 exit to Sevilla, here is what the Portuguese had to say in just over 12 amazing minutes during a pre-match press conference.

REPORTER

"I've spoken to a few of the supporters this week that said they were a bit disappointed by some of the performance levels against Sevilla. What would you say to those fans?"

MOURINHO

"I say to the fans that the fans are the fans, and the fans have the right to have their opinions and to have their reactions.

"But there is something that I used to call football heritage - I try to translate from my Portuguese, which is almost perfect to my English that is far from perfect.

"But translation, word by word is something like football heritage and what a manager inherits is something like is that the last time Manchester United won the Champions League, which didn't happen a lot of times, was in 2008. The (last) final was 2011.

"Since 2011, 2012 out in the group phase. The group was almost the same group as we had this season: Benfica, Basel and Galati from Romania. Out in the group phase.

"In 2013, out at Old Trafford in the last-16. I was in the other bench (as Real Madrid manager).

"In 2014, out in the quarter-final.

"In 2015, no European football.

"In 2016, comes back to European football, out in the group phase, goes to Europa League and on the second knockout out, out of Europa League.

"On 2017, play Europa League, win Europa League with me and goes back to Champions League.

"In 2018, win the group phase with 15 points in possible 18 and loses at home the last-16.

"So, in seven years with four different managers, once not qualified for Europe, twice out in the group phase and the best was a quarter-final. This is football heritage.

"And if you want to go to the Premier League, the last victory was 12-13 and in the four consecutive seasons, United finished fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh - or seventh, fourth, five and six.

"So, in the last four years the best was fourth. This is football heritage.

"It means that when you start the process, you are here, you are there, or you are there. It is heritage. It's heritage.

"And if the fans, that I will always respect, always respect... if the fans... and many of them are the ones you speak with (in the media), many of them are the ones I speak with, or I am very lucky and very unlucky (with you speak to).

"But the ones that speak with you are very disappointed and the ones I speak with knows what is is football heritage.

"They know what is a process and know when they arrive.

"When I arrived in Real Madrid, do you know how many players played quarter-final of Champions League?

"Xabi Alonso with Liverpool, Iker Casillas with Real Madrid and Cristian Ronaldo with Real Madrid.

"All the others, not even a quarter-final. That's football heritage"

REPORTER

"Jose, those stats..."

MOURINHO

"They are real, they are real. Do you want other real? I'll give you a couple more real.

"In the last seven years, the worst position of Manchester City in the Premier League was fourth.

"In the last seven years, Manchester City was champions twice and if you want to say three times because they will be in one more week, two, three or four (weeks) and they were second twice. That's heritage.

"Do you know what is also heritage?

"It's that (Nicolas) Otamendi, Kevin De Bruyne, Fernandinho, (David) Silva, (Raheem) Sterling, (Sergio) Aguero - they are investments from the past, not from the last two years. From the past.

"Do you know how many of United players that left the club last season? See where they play. Where they play, how they play, if they play. That's football heritage.

"And one day when I leave, the next Manchester United manager will find here (Romelu) Lukaku, (Nemanja) Matic, of course (David) De Gea from many years ago, they will find players with a different mentality, with a different quality, with a different background, with a different status, with a different know-how.

"And for some reason you go to the Champions League quarter-final like today and there are there four clubs that are always there. Always there.

"Barcelona is always there in the past seven, eight years. Real Madrid is always there in the past seven, eight years.

"Juventus is always there, Bayern Munich is always there and then, of course, appears now and again another club like my Inter, like some other clubs like Monaco last season.

"Some clubs but the ones that are always there is for some reason. Is for some reason.

"And the good thing for me and the amazing feeling for me is that I am (on) exactly in the same page as the owners, as (executive vice-chairman) Mr (Ed) Woodward, as (managing director) Mr (Richard) Arnold. We are exactly in the same page.

"We agree in everything. We know that we have a process. We agree in the investments, we agree that we have what we have, the investments we are going to do are going to be progressively season after season.

"We need more than the investments, we need also the time. We are exactly in the same page.

"So, life is good.

"I have an amazing job to do. Yesterday I met a new person that we have in the club working in a different area, nothing to do directly with my job but it is as a person that come from another club and I asked, 'why did you decide to come?'

"And the person told me 'because I did as fantastic job in another club and I know that this club I have a big, huge job in front of me to do, so I come for the challenge'.

"Well done, well done - my decision to come here was the same thing.

"I could be in another country with a league in the pocket. The kind of league you win before the league starts. I could be (but) I am not, I am here.

"I am here, and I am going to be here, and no way - no way - I am going to change my mentality.

"For me, I don't know if you know the expression, I don't know if the translation to England makes you understand, but there is quote that I like which is something like 'in every wall is a door'.

"You know, every wall is a door?

"I am not going to run away, I am not going to disappear, I am not going to cry because I heard a few boos.

"I am not going to disappear from the tunnel, running immediately.

"The next match I'll be the first to go out. I respect the fans, I am not afraid anything. I am not afraid of my responsibilities.

"When I was 20 years old, I was nobody in football. I was somebody's son.

"What I was with, a lot of pride, when I was 20 years old was somebody's son. You know?

"And now, with 55, I am what I am, I did what I did because of work, because of my talent and because of my mentality.

"So, they can be together. You know, I understand that for many, many, many, many, many, many years, it was really, really hard for the people that doesn't like me.

"'Here he is again', 'here he wins again,' 'here he is again', 'here he wins again', so for 10 months I win nothing.

"For 10 months, I win nothing. The last title I won was 10 months ago, you know?

"I beat Liverpool, I beat Chelsea, I lose against Sevilla and now is there moment to be happy.

"OK, I also learned that in my religious formation be happy with others happiness even if the others are your enemies.

"So be with it. I am a very lucky guy and I am really happy to be what I am."

Press Association

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport