Jose Mourinho: Chelsea don’t have Champions League ‘obsession’
Jose Mourinho rubbishes the suggestion Chelsea have an “obsession” with the Champions League ahead of Blues' opener
Jose Mourinho has rubbished the suggestion that Chelsea have an “obsession” with the Champions League ahead of their group-stage opener against Basel.
The 50-year-old failed to guide the Blues to European glory during his first stint as Chelsea boss despite reaching three semi-finals, losing to Barcelona and twice to Liverpool.
The Blues were runners up to Manchester United in 2008 following Mourinho’s exit and won the competition for the first time under Roberto Di Matteo in 2012.
Mourinho, meanwhile, has tasted Champions League success at Porto in 2004 before leading Inter Milan to glory at the Bernabeu in 2010 following his Chelsea departure.
And although the Portuguese coach – who signed a four-year deal at Stamford Bridge in June – says Chelsea do have an overall “objective” in the competition, he denied any obsession with it.
“There are no obsessions in football,” Mourinho told a pre-match media conference on Tuesday.
“I never had [an obsession] and I don’t have. I don’t like my team to have [an obsession].
“One thing is an objective and the other is obsession. The first objective of this team is a process we have to go through.
“The end is a team with a philosophy, an identity, a style of play. That’s the first part.
“We’re happy if we win the match. If we win the match but not with the philosophy, it’s three points, one step up the table, but one step back.
“We want to do both things at the same time.”
He added: “No obsession for me. No obsession for Chelsea. But I want to win it for a third time and Chelsea want to win for a second time.”
Chelsea v Basel: Pre-match facts
• Last season’s games were the first competitive encounters between the sides. In the Switzerland first leg, David Luiz’s stoppage-time free-kick earned Chelsea a 2-1 advantage after Fabian Schär’s late penalty had cancelled out Victor Moses’ first-half opener.
• Basel eliminated Tottenham in last season’s Europa League quarter-finals, prevailing 4-1 on spot kicks after two 2-2 draws, but have never won in England.
• Mourinho, who has lifted the trophy with both Porto (2004) and Inter Milan (2010) and is bidding to become the first manager to win the European Cup with three different teams, is also defending an unbeaten matchday one record in his 11th consecutive Champions League campaign.
• Chelsea are unbeaten in 13 European fixtures at Stamford Bridge (W11 D2) since a 1-0 reverse against Manchester United in the 2010-11 Champions League quarter-finals.