Mourinho also takes swipe at Benitez achievements last season.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has responded to claims from Galatasaray coach Roberto Mancini that he was only able to win the Champions League with Inter Milan after inheriting his squad.
The two are set to face off on Wednesday night, as Mourinho’s side travel to Istanbul for the first leg of their Champions League encounter, but the Portuguese tactician hasn’t held back in his pre-game press conference.
However, he firstly addressed Rafa Benitez who led Chelsea to the Europa League last season, an achievement that Mourinho doesn’t rank very highly as he believes that the club should be aiming much higher.
“The Europa League comes as a consequence of being eliminated in the group phase [of the Champions League],” he told the gathering media, as reported by Football Italia.
“So I don’t consider last year as a successful year because our competition is the Champions League. Last year was our worst year because it’s the only time Chelsea have been knocked out in the group phase.”
Mourinho went on to admit that what he has done so far this season in Europe in his second stint with the club is “nothing outstanding”, but did point to the fact that they have advanced beyond the group stages which is the minimum requirement.
Further, he then reacted to comments made by Mancini, who suggested that he lay the foundations to the Inter squad that went on to win the Champions League after he had left the club.
“It’s funny because my [Inter] team in the final had Lucio, Thiago Motta, Diego Milito, Samuel Eto’o, Goran Pandev and Wesley Sneijder.
“From 11 players, he didn’t work with six of them. So he made a five-a-side team because I played with only five players from his team.”
Considering the importance of those five players to the squad, there is an argument to suggest that Mancini has some basis to his argument. Nevertheless, Mourinho doesn’t agree with his notion and will instead look ahead to attempting to win a third Champions League trophy this season.