Jose Mourinho quoted philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel as he insisted he remains “one of the greatest managers in the world”.
In the midst of a tough start to the season where his side have lost two of their opening three games, it was put to the Manchester United boss how Tottenham Hotspur fans sang “you’re not special any more” during their 3-0 defeat and his mood quickly turned from chipper to chippy. He pointed to how no manager in the world can match his historical record, and even had a few drive-by swipes at Spurs and managers who have won titles in “small countries”.
Mourinho had initially been asked how it feels to be in charge at one of the biggest clubs in the world, and responded: “I am the manager of one of the greatest clubs in the world but I am also one of the greatest managers in the world.”
When he was asked whether that would still be the case if he failed to win a title at United, Mourinho disputed this and pointed to his record, as well as how last season’s second place was one of his greatest ever achievements.
“Of course,” the Portuguese answered, before turning the question around. “Did you read any philosopher or in your information you never spent time reading Hegel? Just as an example Hegel says the truth is in the whole, is always in the whole…
“Do you ask that question to the manager that finished third in the Premier League or fourth? To the manager who finished fifth.”
When it was stated that had been put to Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, Mourinho responded:
“Because he never win anything in international for example… I tell you what I think, how he feels. And I answer you the question. That’s easy. I had last season great success. I had great success last season that’s what you probably don’t want to admit. I analyse my performance, myself and for me is more important what I think than what you think. I repeat that two seasons ago we had a fantastic season by winning the Europa League, this season and last everybody thought Atletico Madrid was amazing because they won the Europa League after being knocked out of the Champions League.
“We won Europa League because that was our level. We are the last team in England to win a European trophy. And last season, I repeat, I won eight titles, I am the only manager in the world that won in Italy, Spain and England and by winning eight titles – not small titles or countries – my second position last season is one of my greatest achievements in football.”