Manchester United take on Chelsea in a massive Premier League clash on Sunday and the focus will be on current United incumbent and former Blues boss Jose Mourinho, but the Portuguese feels it is a big tie because of the sides’ title aspiration and not because of his return.
“It isn’t a big thing,” the 54-year-old told the media ahead of Sunday’s clash at Stamford Bridge.
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Mourinho is still idolised by most Chelsea fans for being the architect of the club’s most fruitful years. In his first tenure at the London club, Mourinho delivered back-to-back Premier League titles (and a FA Cup triumph) to announce Chelsea’s arrival on the world football map.
Mourinho departed midway into the 2007 season and would coach European giants Inter Milan and then Real Madrid, where he further established his reputation as one of modern football’s finest managers, before returning to the English capital in 2013.
“It is normal, it is football, it is professionalism, it is football life. One day you are in one club, one day you’re in another club. It’s a big thing because it’s a big match, because it’s a big opponent, they are the champions, because it’s one of these matches between the top teams in the country, but by the emotional point of view it’s just one more game,” the self-styled ‘Special One’ explained.
His second stint with the Blues yielded the League Cup and Premier League title before a poor start to their title defence cost him his job and a move to rival side United followed in the summer of 2016.
“I played there with Inter and twice with Manchester United. I have to admit it’s a little bit different, but in the end, I want to win, like I did with Inter, and they want to win like they did last season,” Mourinho stated.
United played Chelsea thrice over the course of the 2016-17 season, losing twice (once in the FA Cup and once in the Premier League) and winning once. Mourinho’s first game at Stamford Bridge as Red Devils manager was a painful one, with a 4-0 defeat in October effectively derailing their title hopes.
“It’s just one more game, in a couple of years it will be even more natural and in four or five more years nobody will probably remember that I was Chelsea manager and it will be completely normal. It is just because I left a couple of years ago, but it’s a big match – not because of that though. It’s a big match because they are the champions and we are Manchester United – no more than that,” the United boss insisted.