Jose Mourinho questions value of Europa League win for Chelsea

 

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho says winning the Europa League would be a "big disappointment" - only a few months after rival Rafael Benitez guided the Blues to victory in the tournament.

Chelsea won Europe's second-tier club competition last season after failing to defend their Champions League title.

But Blues boss Mourinho told BBC Sport: "I don't want to win the Europa League.

"It would be a big disappointment for me. I don't want my players to feel the Europa League is our competition."

Benitez guided Chelsea to Europa League success in May by beating Benfica in the final.

The 53-year-old Spaniard, who took over at Stamford Bridge on a short-term basis in November, also helped the club clinch automatic qualification for the Champions League, a competition the club won in 2012 when Roberto Di Matteo was in charge.

Mourinho's career record

Team M W D L W%

Benfica (2000)

11

6

3

2

55%

Uniao de Leiria (2001-02)

29

15

8

6

52%

Porto (2002-04)

124

90

21

13

73%

Chelsea (2004-07)

185

124

40

21

67%

Inter Milan (2008-10)

108

67

26

15

62%

Real Madrid (2010-13)

178

128

28

22

72%

Total

635

430

126

79

68%

Career record up to 1 June 2013

Mourinho, who has clashed verbally with Benitez on a number of occasions, has never won the Champions League while at Chelsea but did taste success with Porto in 2004 and Inter Milan in 2010.

"That's the only European competition we have to play and that's the European competition we have to give our best," he told BBC Sport's Richard Conway.

As well as conquering Europe, Mourinho is also targeting Premier League success after guiding the Blues to league glory twice during his first spell at Stamford Bridge.

"The most important thing in football is to be the best team in the season and try to win your domestic league," said the 50-year-old Portuguese, who was Blues boss from 2004 to 2007.

"In our case, it's the most important league in Europe, so we have to try and be the best team and win the Premier League."

As Chelsea prepare to face Singha All-Stars in Bangkok on Wednesday, the former Real Madrid manager has told his squad that status does not matter when it comes to team selection.

Defender John Terry, 32, and Frank Lampard, 35, were key members of the team during Mourinho's first Chelsea reign, but he insists no one is guaranteed their place.

"I don't care about the passport, I don't care about the date of their birth, I just care about performance," he said.

"If they are better than the young guys, then they play. If the young guys are better than them, they don't play.

Jose Mourinho's major trophies

  • Champions League: 2004, 2010
  • Uefa Cup: 2003
  • Primeira Liga (Portugal): 2003, 2004
  • Premier League (England): 2005, 2006
  • Serie A (Italy): 2009, 2010
  • La Liga (Spain): 2012
  • Taca de Portugal: 2003
  • FA Cup (England): 2007
  • Coppa Italia (Italy): 2010
  • Copa del Rey (Spain): 2011

"But the way they are working is amazing. These guys, they know they have to give everything and don't expect that status chooses the line-up."

Meanwhile, Mourinho has vowed to do everything he can to help Fernando Torres back to his best, but admits the ultimate responsibility lies with the 29-year-old striker, who moved to Chelsea from Liverpool for £50m in 2011.

"Good players in big clubs, they are always under this pressure," said Mourinho.

"The only thing I can promise is that I give everything to my players and I try my best to perform the best I can. He will get from me that support that a striker needs to feel more confident.

"But, at the end of the day, it's up to them and is their responsibility. Fernando has to cope with that."

On the issue of strikers, Mourinho reiterated his admiration for Wayne Rooney, who has been the subject of recent transfer speculation.

Manchester United manager David Moyes insists Rooney is not for sale but says he is no longer the number one striker at Old Trafford in light of Robin van Persie's performances last season.

Mourinho believes that poses a problem for England and manager Roy Hodgson ahead of next year's World Cup in Brazil.

"If Wayne is a second choice for Man Utd, then the national team will be affected," said Mourinho.