José Mourinho has another time a dig at his all time rival Rafa Benitez, now Real Madrid manager, who was in charge of Chelsea before his return in 2013.
The Blues were knocked out from Champions League as champions at group stage in December 2012 and in May 2013, just days before Mourinho was appointed again as Chelsea manager, won the Europa League in Amsterdam beating Benfica 2-1 at last minute with an Ivanovic‘s goal:
“When I returned, I felt the experience of Chelsea playing Europa League was not good,” revealed Mourinho while speaking to BT Sports for a documentary on him.
“The Europa League is a different competition [from the Champions League], the Europa League is a different level of competition for a different level of player and a different level of club.”
“It is not good for a big club to go there and win it. It is better for the evolution of the players and for the evolution of the team to be in the Champions League. Even if you are not successful, even if you do not win it, it is better to be in the Champions League.”
“This is what I want to keep giving to my players and obviously we are completely open, we are good enough to, one season, to win it. I think the Champions League gives us a different thing to the Premier League. The Premier League is our competition and the Champions League is a competition that belongs to many different cultures.”
Mourinho, who won the Champions League twice with Porto and Inter, also rejected allusions that he was a defensive coach, pointing to his record at Real Madrid and his first spell at Chelsea:
“The best team in the history of La Liga: Real Madrid – 100 points, 126 goals, the team with more victories, more points, more goals. Manager? The defensive Jose Mourinho,” he stressed.
“Premier League, record of points? Chelsea football club 2005/06. Manager? The defensive Jose Mourinho. There is something that is not right.“