Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has declared that the Champions League is ’empty’ without his team in it.
The Portuguese made the declaration on the backdrop of failure by his predecessor Louis van Gaal to drag the team to a top-four finish in the Premier League last season.
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) August 9, 2016
In an exclusive interview with BT Sport, Mourinho claimed that the competition was not the same without United, although he admitted that Barcelona and Real Madrid were also integral to the competition.
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Mourinho, who recently won his first piece of silverware as United boss with a 2-1 win over champions Leicester in Sunday’s Community Shield, revealed that he needs to return United back to their “natural habitat.”
He said: “Man United has to be in the Champions League. I think that the Champions League is empty when Man United is not there.
“Imagine the Champions League without Man United, Real Madrid, Barcelona. There are a certain numbers of clubs that make it not a Champions League without these clubs. That’s Man United and their natural habitat.”
“I wouldn’t be happy with just finishing in the top four.”
“I would be happy with that but plus a greater evolution in the team in terms of our evolved football. Opening the door for in the next couple of years back to winning titles.”
Nevertheless, Mourinho said there is only one aim for his side ahead of the new season: To win every game.
“I don’t like to go to the players and tell them ‘let’s try to finish in the top four’ – let’s try to win every game. We don’t and we know that, especially in this country, at this moment it is impossible for anyone.
“But to have that as a starting point, let’s go to every game and try to win every game. But I think a big club like we are, we need to have this mentality,” he added.