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The now-famous 'football heritage' speech was mocked by many in the aftermath of that defeat. He listed United's downfalls in Europe over the past few years, while highlighting triumphs with what we had – a depleted squad.
But exactly 48 months later, after they were knocked out of Europe's elite competition in the last 16 once more, 'The Special One's' words have never been more relevant as United continue to struggle.
So what did Mourinho say, exactly?
After suffering a 2-1 defeat to Sevilla at Old Trafford, the former Chelsea boss said being knocked out of the Champions League was "nothing new for the club" before bringing up the famous "football heritage" quote.
"In 2012, out in the group phase," he began.
"In 2013, out at Old Trafford in the last 16, I was on the other bench,” he added, reminding those in attendance of his own success over United as Real Madrid boss.
“In 2014, out in the quarter-final. In 2015, no European football. In 2016, back to European football, out in the group phase, goes to Europa League and on the second knockout out of the Europa League.
“In 2017, play Europa League, win Europa League with me and goes back to Champions League.
"In 2018, win the group phase with 15 points out of a possible 18 and loses at home in the last 16.”
Mourinho went on to claim Manchester City's "football heritage" was superior before criticising the squad he inherited.
“In the last seven years the worst position of Manchester City in the Premier League was fourth," he continued. "In the last seven years, Manchester City was champions twice and if you want, say three times. They were second twice. That's heritage.
“Do you know what is also heritage? [Nicolas] Otamendi, Kevin De Bruyne, Fernandinho, [David] Silva, [Raheem] Sterling, [Sergio] Aguero. They are investments from the past, not from the last two years.
“One day when I leave, the next Manchester United manager will find [Romelu] Lukaku, [Nemanja] Matic and [David] De Gea from many years ago. They will find players with a different mentality, quality, background, with a different status, know-how.
“The reality is that some clubs were ready to win. Other clubs are not ready to win. One thing is to go for the jugular and another is to build a different process.”
You can see the full 12-minute press conference below. It was something else.
Mourinho's words from March 2018 have been doing the rounds on social media in recent hours following United's Champions League exit to Atletico on Tuesday night.
One Twitter user said: "Mourinho was right and we didn’t want to listen to him," while another wrote: "Mourinho was criticised for these comments at the time but they remain bang on the money after Manchester United’s latest Champions League exit.
"The more things change, the more they stay the same."
A third commented: "I know the football wasn’t pretty but Jose Mourinho does not get enough credit for what he achieved with United considering this squad is 100x better than the one he had."
“Football heritage”— Sacha Pisani (@Sachk0) March 16, 2022
Jose Mourinho was criticised for these comments at the time but they remain bang on the money after Manchester United’s latest Champions League exit.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.#MUFC #UCL
Thoughts on Mourinho's comments four years ago? Do they still ring true?
Let us know in the comments.
Featured Image Credit: Sky Sports
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