Belfast Telegraph

It's football heritage: Jose Mourinho launches remarkable 12-minute defence of Manchester United record

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho went on a remarkable 12-minute rant as he launched an impassioned defence of his record in the wake of the shock Champions League exit to Sevilla.

After the struggles of David Moyes and Louis van Gaal following Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement in 2013, the Old Trafford giants turned to the Portuguese in a bid to bring success back to the club.

United won the Europa League, EFL Cup and Community Shield in his first season, but the FA Cup is the only silverware realistically achievable after Tuesday's surprise last-16 exit to Sevilla in the Champions League.

Mourinho has been criticised by pundits and fans for his approach over both legs, leading the United boss to go on a surprise, wide-ranging and lengthy rant ahead of Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final against Brighton.

"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," Mourinho said.

"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 final was 2011."

Then Mourinho, using pre-prepared notes, went through each of United's European seasons since that final against Barcelona in detail.

He said: "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," he said. "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 (using hands to represent levels), you are there or you are there. It is heritage. It's heritage."

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