Mourinho: Manchester United’s season a success even if we lose FA Cup final to Chelsea

Jose Mourinho is looking to win his second FA Cup as manager.
Updated 18 May 2018
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Mourinho: Manchester United’s season a success even if we lose FA Cup final to Chelsea

  • United finished second in the Premier League, but a 19 points behind arch-rivals City.
  • Mourinho's side face Chelsea at Wembley with both managers under fire.

LONDON: Jose Mourinho insists he won’t regard Manchester United’s season as a failure even if they lose against Chelsea in Saturday’s FA Cup final.
Mourinho’s side have one last chance to finish the campaign with silverware when they face their manager’s former club in a heavyweight Wembley showdown.
United finished second in the Premier League, trailing 19 points behind champions Manchester City, and suffered embarrassing exits from the Champions League and League Cup against Sevilla and Bristol City.
After winning the Europa League and League Cup last term — when they finished sixth in the Premier League — critics claim United have failed to make enough progress this season.
Losing to Chelsea would be a big blow to Mourinho, but he has no intention of letting the result define United’s season.
“You can analyze the way you want and I can analyze the way I want,” Mourinho said.
“Of course it makes a difference, but making a difference isn’t to consider whether the season is good or bad from one match.
“When I analyze the work I do, the effort I put, and everything we did in the club, I’m not going to analyze the players because of one, of course very important, match.
“I know what my players did. I know the effort they gave. The positive things, the negative things.
“I’m not going to change my opinion on one match, not at all.”
Mourinho has been slammed for adopting overly cautious tactics in several big games as United were often made to look ponderous in comparison to stylish City’s commitment to attack.
Some fear Mourinho — aiming to win the Cup for the first time since Chelsea beat United in a dull 2007 final — will adopt a conservative approach at Wembley again rather than go on the offensive.
Asked if he felt a duty to ensure the Cup final was a memorable affair for the watching world, the 55-year-old admitted he had a different view than many on what can be considered an entertaining match.
“I don’t understand these words, do you think 6-0 is entertaining? I don’t think so,” Mourinho said.
“I think entertaining is emotion until the end, the game open, everyone on the edge of their seats, both dug-outs nervous and tense with the result in doubt.
“For a football lover that is entertaining for me. I think it will be entertaining tomorrow.”
Mourinho has won 12 of his 14 cup finals with Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and United.
His only defeats came in the Portuguese Cup against Benfica and the Copa del Rey against Atletico Madrid.
In contrast, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has yet to win a domestic cup after losing last season’s FA Cup final against Arsenal.
But Mourinho doesn’t believe that will be a factor this weekend.
“The winning mentality doesn’t have to do with record or history in finals,” he said.
“Honestly, I think what we did in the past has nothing to do with tomorrow.
“The records don’t play tomorrow. It’s 11 against 11.”
The FA Cup will be presented to the winning captain by the wife of former Chelsea and United star Ray Wilkins, who died aged 61 after suffering a cardiac arrest last month.
“It will be a very emotional moment for Mrs.Wilkins, for all the family,” Mourinho added.
“I believe that Ray will be looking at it and will be enjoying it.
“I know how much he was loved at Chelsea, I know how much he is loved at Manchester United.
“I think it would be a moment that would unite the stadium, the fans of both colors, a beautiful moment.”


Platini released from custody after police questioning

Updated 19 June 2019
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Platini released from custody after police questioning

  • French authorities haven’t announced any charges against Platini
  • The authorities also questioned a sport adviser from the previous French president’s administration

PARIS: Former UEFA president Michel Platini was released from custody in the early hours of Wednesday after being questioned as part of a corruption investigation into the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.
His communication team said that Platini’s detention ended at 12:30 a.m. local time.
Platini had denied any wrongdoing and French authorities did not announce any charges against the former France and Juventus player.
“It was long, but given the number of questions it could not be different,” Platini said after his release. “They asked me questions about the 2016 Euro, the World Cup in Russia, the World Cup in Qatar, the Paris Saint-Germain, FIFA.”
Also questioned Tuesday were Sophie Dion, a sports adviser in former French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s administration, and Claude Gueant, the former secretary general of the Elysee presidential palace under Sarkozy.
Ahead of the FIFA vote, Sarkozy hosted a meeting in November 2010 that brought Platini together with Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, then the crown prince of Qatar and now its ruling emir. Al-Thani also owns the French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain, and Sarkozy frequently attends its games.
Qatar beat the long-favored United States 14 to 8 when FIFA selected the host country for the 2022 World Cup
As head of European soccer’s governing body UEFA, Platini was the continent’s top representative on the FIFA committee that picked Qatar.
French prosecutors are known to be investigating an array of winning bids for major sports events, including the 2018 World Cup, awarded to Russia, the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo and track and field world championships.

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READ MORE: TIMELINE: The trail of corruption allegations surrounding the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar

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