With Manchester United returning to the Champions League this month, manager Jose Mourinho has set his sights on a record which he would like to break in the coming years.
Legendary Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson currently holds the all-time record of 194 games managed in the elite competition, and Mourinho is targeting the feat although he is still far off at 133 matches.
Mourinho guided United to the Europa League title during his first season in charge and he admits that the return to Europe’s biggest stage is a positive thing for everyone at the club.
The Portuguese also admitted that he is targeting the most matches managed in the premier competition, and insists that he will work hard to surpass the record after missing out last term.
“It’s good for the players, it’s good for me, it’s good for the club. [It] is where we want to go and I think the credit we deserve for last season was exactly to be in the habitat that is not our natural habitat, to do everything to win it [the Europa League] like we did and to do everything we can to respect the second-biggest competition in European football,” he told MUTV.
“But the Champions League is where we want to be and maybe I’m too ambitious, I don’t know, but I want to be the manager with more matches [in the Champions League]. “I know that I am in the top five or six but I’m quite far, especially from the top one [Sir Alex], but I will fight hard to go for that record. Last season, I lost a season in the chase for this record but Manchester United is where Manchester United has to be and I’m really happy with that.”
The Red Devils were drawn in a relatively easier group alongside the likes of Benfica, Basel and CSKA Moscow in the Champions League, but Mourinho insists that the club could still face a challenge to qualify for the knockout stage.
Manchester United will play hosts to Swiss champions Basel in the Champions League opener on September 12, and the manager has literally confirmed that Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof will feature in central defence.