Chelsea are seeking yet another manager in the Roman Abramovich era following Maurizio Sarri's switch to Serie A champions Juventus.

Frank Lampard is widely reported to be first choice to take charge at Stamford Bridge, with the former Chelsea midfielder set to return after a single season gathering managerial experience in the Championship with Derby County.

Sarri was far from universally popular with Chelsea fans despite winning the Europa League, reaching the EFL Cup final and finishing third in the Premier League.

But how does he compare with Chelsea's many other managers under Russian billionaire Abramovich? Omnisport crunches the Opta numbers to find out.


CLAUDIO RANIERI

When Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003, Ranieri was the man in the Stamford Bridge dugout - but he left the following year. The genial Italian won 61 per cent of his matches in charge under Abramovich as Chelsea - who bought players including Damien Duff, Joe Cole, Claude Makelele, Juan Sebastian Veron and Hernan Crespo in a spending spree - finished second in the Premier League behind Arsenal's Invincibles. Chelsea also reached the semi-finals of the Champions League that year but Ranieri's decisions in a defeat to Monaco were questioned.


JOSE MOURINHO

Announcing himself as a "special one" on his arrival, Mourinho justified his own lofty billing by leading the club to the Premier League title, as well as the EFL Cup. They got to the last four of the Champions League again only to be beaten by Liverpool thanks to a controversial Luis Garcia goal. The Blues defended their Premier League title the next season but were unseated by Manchester United in 2006-07, although Mourinho led them to triumphs in both domestic cups. A poor start to 2007-08, including a Champions League draw at home to Rosenborg, saw Mourinho leave the club.

He returned in 2013 and Chelsea won the Premier League again in his second season in charge, as well as collecting another EFL Cup. But he left once more in December 2015, with his win ratio across both spells at the club, in all competitions, standing at an excellent 63.6 per cent.


AVRAM GRANT

In Mourinho's first spell at Stamford Bridge, Abramovich's appointment of Grant in a technical role reportedly led to tensions and the Israeli was then installed in the dugout. Despite being unpopular with fans, Grant steered Chelsea to the final of the EFL Cup, when they were beaten by Tottenham, and they finished second in the Premier League. Somewhat improbably, Grant's Chelsea also reached the Champions League final but they lost to Manchester United on penalties after John Terry's slip.


LUIZ FELIPE SCOLARI

Former Brazil boss Scolari, who led them to World Cup glory, failed to complete a single season at Chelsea as they sacked him in February 2009 citing "deteriorating" results. Scolari won just 55.6 per cent of his games in charge of Chelsea.


GUUS HIDDINK

Then-Russia coach Hiddink arrived as a temporary successor to Scolari and took Chelsea to the semi-finals of the Champions League, where they lost to Barcelona. They won the FA Cup final in his last game in charge but despite being popular with fans and players, he did not stay on.

Hiddink was a natural choice to return when Mourinho left a second time and a 12-game unbeaten run helped the Blues finish in the top half of the Premier League. Despite this, his win ratio across his two periods at Chelsea stands at just 53.1 per cent.


CARLO ANCELOTTI

Ancelotti arrived in 2009 and Chelsea pipped United to the Premier League title in his first season, adding the FA Cup to seal a domestic double. But United beat Chelsea in Europe and the Premier League in the following campaign and Ancelotti was dismissed even though his 61.5 per cent win ratio in all competitions was admirable.


ANDRE VILLAS-BOAS

Like Mourinho, Villas-Boas joined from Porto but he could not match his compatriot's success. With Chelsea outside the top four in the Premier League, he was sacked in March 2012 with a win ratio of 47.5 per cent - the lowest of any Blues boss in the Abramovich era.


ROBERTO DI MATTEO

Another temporary manager, Di Matteo moved up from being assistant to Villas-Boas and the Italian oversaw victory in the FA Cup final against Liverpool. Di Matteo also managed Chelsea to a remarkable defeat of Barcelona in the semi-finals of the Champions League, then Didier Drogba's penalty in the shoot-out saw them beat Bayern Munich at their Allianz Arena home and claim the club's first European Cup.

Di Matteo was rewarded with a permanent contract but was dismissed after a Champions League group-stage loss to Juventus. His eight months in charge, while delivering two major trophies, yielded a win ratio of 57.1 per cent.


RAFAEL BENITEZ

Former Liverpool manager Benitez, whose win ratio was 58.3 per cent at Stamford Bridge, was another appointment that was unpopular with fans. But he secured Champions League qualification and more European silverware, with the Blues beating Benfica 2-1 in the Europa League final. 


ANTONIO CONTE

Another Italian, Conte took charge after successful periods at Juventus and Italy. They won the Premier League title in style in his first season but Conte left despite beating United in the FA Cup final in the following campaign. Conte's win ratio of 65.1 per cent at the club is second only to Grant and he will be a Serie A rival for Sarri next term as he has been appointed by Inter.


MAURIZIO SARRI

Sarri's style never won fans over but third place in the Premier League, coupled with an appearance in the EFL Cup final - overshadowed by Kepa Arrizabalaga refusing to be substituted - and Europa League glory marked a successful single season. Sarri's 61.9 per cent win ratio at the club narrowly pips fellow Italian Ancelotti, who replaced him at Napoli last year.

First it was Daniel James, now is Aaron Wan-Bissaka on the verge of joining Manchester United?

After agreeing to sign Swansea City winger James, United have reportedly made an offer to prise Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace.

It is set to be a busy close-season at Old Trafford as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer attempts to overhaul the struggling Red Devils.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED BID FOR WAN-BISSAKA

A "substantial bid" has been made by Manchester United to secure the services of Crystal Palace right-back Wan-Bissaka, according to Sky Sports.

While 20-year-old Diogo Dalot only arrived from Porto last season, Solskjaer wants to address the right side of his defence following the departure of veteran Antonio Valencia.

And with Solskjaer determined to sign the best young British talent – highlighted by James' arrival – the 21-year-old fits the bill as United look to improve on their sixth-placed finish in the Premier League.

 

ROUND-UP

- Could Gianluigi Buffon finish his career where it started? La Gazzetta dello Sport claim the 41-year-old goalkeeper is in talks with former club Parma after leaving Paris Saint-Germain. Buffon, who only spent one season in Paris, debuted as a 17-year-old for Parma in 1995 before joining Serie A rivals Juventus for a then-world record fee of €52million in 2001.

- According to The Sun, Manchester United and Real Madrid have opened talks over a transfer for Paul Pogba. Zinedine Zidane wants to add the France star to his squad after signing Eden Hazard and officials from Madrid and United reportedly met last week. It comes as The Mirror claim United are planning an attempt to take Gareth Bale from Madrid on loan as the Wales international faces an uncertain future in the Spanish capital.

Madrid are not the only club interested in Pogba, with the Express claiming Juve want to re-sign the World Cup winner from United. The 26-year-old left Turin for a return to Manchester in 2016 after Juve pocketed £89m.

- With Madrid seemingly set to complete the signing of Lyon full-back Ferland Mendy, Marca report long-serving star Marcelo is free to decide his own future, having been linked to Serie A champions Juventus in the past.

- Is Jose Mourinho about to take over at United… Newcastle United, that is? According to The Mirror, Mourinho – who was sacked by Manchester United in December – is willing to talk to the Premier League side if billionaire Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan completes his takeover.

- Champions League holders Liverpool are willing to sanction Harry Wilson's exit for £21m, claim The Mirror. The 22-year-old impressed as Derby County reached the Championship play-off final, and he has attracted interest from Bundesliga duo Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig.

Jose Mourinho claimed being punished for comments he made during his time in the Premier League left him feeling "caged" in England.

Mourinho spent over eight seasons combined in England's top flight, across spells with Chelsea and Manchester United.

The 56-year-old has also coached in his native Portugal, and in Italy and Spain with Inter and Real Madrid respectively.

And Mourinho believes that the media pressure, along with strict rules such as those over comments on match officials, made his time in England more difficult than anywhere else, despite his three Premier League triumphs with Chelsea.

"I lived in England most of those years [the 15 years since he left Portugal]," Mourinho told Eleven Sports.

"I also spent some years in Spain where we walked there in the same habitat. I usually have people talking about it, more polemic, less polemic, more aggressiveness, less aggressiveness, but they are people of great credibility and you have great names in football to discuss about football.

"But in England it's day and night. For example, I've sometimes felt caged because you can't even comment on the referee before the game.

"I was punished for pre-match statements and statements such as, 'I hope the referee is very well, that he resists pressure from Anfield, that he has an excellent performance'. This is forbidden. This is considered to somehow induce the referee, put some kind of pressure on him.

"Even speaking well of the referee, as I did, I was punished."

Mourinho was sacked by United in December and replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and the Portuguese is yet to return to management.

Jose Mourinho is confident Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo can still meet in a Champions League final, despite both players nearing the twilight of their careers.

The world's best two players have yet to go head-to-head in the final of Europe's elite club competition, despite both of them having won the Champions League on multiple occasions.

Barcelona and Juventus were both among the favourites to reach the showpiece in Madrid this season, but were beaten by Liverpool and Ajax in the semi-finals and quarter-finals respectively.

And with Messi approaching his 32nd birthday, and Ronaldo already 34, Mourinho is disappointed at the thought of the duo never facing off in a Champions League final, though he acknowledged it may also be positive for a debate over which of the players is superior not to overshadow such a huge game.

"First of all, I think it's a frustration for all those who like football to never have had a [Champions League] final between the two," Mourinho told Eleven Sports.

"It was almost real many times, but it never happened. I always thought that it would be a big injustice to them, in the sense that everything would be centered on them and that one would come out holding on to the big ears cup and the other would come out with his head down.

"I always thought it would be a great injustice to have a duel between the titans of the two best players in the world in the last decade, for one of them to bow to the weight of defeat. That's why it's probably a good thing it never happened.

"Can it still happen? It could still happen. They're both in clubs that want to win. They don't hide that they want to win themselves. Of course it can happen."

Messi scored a sublime free-kick - his 600th club goal - in Barca's 3-0 first-leg win over Liverpool in the semi-finals, only for Ernesto Valverde's side to lose 4-0 in a remarkable second leg, with the Reds meeting Tottenham at the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday.

Jose Mourinho believes Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech would have chosen to bow out in a game against Chelsea and will be determined to beat his old club in the Europa League final, despite being linked with a return to Stamford Bridge.

Cech, 37, has already confirmed he will retire after next week's final against the Blues, when the Czech will hope to feature having played the majority of the Gunners' Europa League matches this term.

Reports have suggested Cech has already agreed to become Chelsea's sporting director for next season, though the player himself denied that is the case on social media.

Yet even if a return to west London is on the cards after the final, his former Chelsea boss Mourinho is confident there will be no split loyalties in Baku.

"It is Petr Cech's last football match - I think it's the match that he would choose," Mourinho told Sky Sports News.

"If he could choose a match to retire, I think this would be the match.

"It looks like he goes home next season - home [is] Chelsea.

"I think of course he would love to do it in a winning way because he's a winner, he won so many things."

Another player who could make his final appearance for his current club is Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard.

The Belgian, who won a Premier League title under Mourinho in 2014-15, has long been linked with a move to LaLiga giants Real Madrid.

And although it may be his Chelsea farewell, Mourinho does not believe it will impact Hazard's performance.

"It looks like it's the last match in blue for Eden Hazard, a player that was crucial for Chelsea's success in this last generation," the Portuguese added.

"I think Eden will try to be what he is the majority of the time, a fantastic player on the pitch, and win and go possibly - I don't want to say more than possibly - to Real Madrid with a last trophy for Chelsea."

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp would find it tough to deal with another Champions League final defeat, according to Jose Mourinho.

Klopp's men are in the decider of Europe's premier club competition for the second straight season, facing Tottenham in Madrid on June 1.

The German saw his team suffer a 3-1 loss to Real Madrid in last year's final, while his Borussia Dortmund side were beaten in the 2013 decider by Bayern Munich.

Mourinho, a two-time winner of the Champions League, said another loss for Klopp would hurt.

"If Jurgen wins it's an incredible achievement for him," Mourinho told Sky Sports News.

"If Jurgen doesn't win, you know... to lose three Champions League finals... phew... that has to be really, really hard, but he is a very positive guy, I'm sure he's just thinking about winning.

"Being a manager, and understanding what it means for a manager to play a Champions League final, there is always a negative side of it and the negative side is that one team will lose and one manager will lose."

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is also yet to win a trophy at the helm of Spurs, although he has achieved top-four Premier League finishes in the past four seasons.

Mourinho believes a win at the Wanda Metropolitano could lead to a period of sustained success for Tottenham.

"Spurs are not winning titles and to win the first one would be fantastic and could lead to other domestic trophies because the Champions League is the biggest one of all," he said.

"Finals are not to play, finals are to win."

Lyon have confirmed former Brazil defender Sylvinho will succeed Bruno Genesio as head coach and club icon Juninho Pernambucano shall return as sporting director.

Genesio confirmed in April that he will not renew his contract – which expires in June – and Ligue 1 side Lyon were subsequently linked with a host of coaches.

Jose Mourinho was among them and the former Manchester United manager even seemed to encourage the links.

But Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas confirmed after Saturday's 4-0 win over Caen they have gone for a more left-field option in Sylvinho – assistant to Brazil coach Tite – with Juninho making the choice after agreeing to become Lyon's new sporting director.

Speaking to reporters, Aulas said: "We saw Juninho two times in Los Angeles to obtain his agreement and we have it.

"He will come, even though some financial details remaining. He has a love story with Lyon. He chose Sylvinho as coach and we have his agreement too.

"He has this aspiration of high-level talent. We had to convince him because he had a lot of offers."

Sylvinho represented Manchester City, Barcelona and Arsenal during his career, while Juninho – known for his free-kick ability – spent eight years at Lyon as a player, winning seven Ligue 1 titles.

 

Saturday's 6-0 win over Watford in the FA Cup final at Wembley made Manchester City the first men's team in history to complete a clean sweep of English football's major honours in the same season.

Raheem Sterling dispatched the decisive penalty in the shoot-out against Chelsea after February's EFL Cup final at the same venue finished goalless, while City edged out Liverpool in an epic Premier League title race by beating Brighton and Hove Albion 4-1 last weekend.

Sterling and Gabriel Jesus then both scored twice on Saturday as City completed the treble, adding to a superb career body of work for manager Pep Guardiola.

But where does this City rank among the other finest teams since the Premier League rebrand of 1992-93 heralded the multi-million-pound era?

Five Omnisport writers have picked their sides.

Matt Dorman - Manchester United 1998-2001

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer rode a wave of nostalgia in the early months of his return to Old Trafford and the hero of 1999 can be forgiven for indulging in past glories, such were the extraordinary feats he achieved alongside a squad of enviable depth and ability.

The now-United manager's last-gasp winner in the remarkable Champions League final triumph over Bayern Munich two decades ago completed an unprecedented treble and serves as the centrepiece of an unforgettable era.

David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, Gary Neville and brother Phil comprised the Class of 92 that blossomed late in the last millennium and delivered three straight Premier league titles, an FA Cup and that sought-after European crown.

 

Peter Hanson - Arsenal 2001-2004

History will ultimately show Arsene Wenger as a revolutionary who later failed to evolve. But boy, at their pomp Wenger's Arsenal were a dream to watch.

The pace and guile of Robert Pires, the lung-busting runs of Freddie Ljungberg, the colossus defending of Sol Campbell, the power and never-say-die attitude of Patrick Vieira, the endlessly talented Dennis Bergkamp and, last but not least, the world-class Thierry Henry, arguably the best we have ever seen in England's top flight.

The Gunners were an era-defining machine, grinding down opponents with their slick style and refusal to lay down their arms in any game. City's current vintage are a joy to watch, but for me Arsenal's 'Invincibles' remain the cream of the Premier League crop.

Liam Blackburn - Chelsea 2004-2006

City finished third in Guardiola's first trophyless season but there was no need for an adaptation period with Jose Mourinho, who immediately took English football by storm, leading the Blues to the 2004-05 title and ending a 50-year wait for a top-flight championship.

The foundations had been laid for Guardiola long before he came in but Mourinho had to swiftly find a winning formula with a squad overhauled since Roman Abramovich's takeover 12 months earlier - and the Portuguese built an all-conquering team that lost just one league game in his first season before retaining their title in the next.

Mourinho, who commanded the respect of big characters like Petr Cech, John Terry and Didier Drogba - succeeding where many future Chelsea managers failed, also reached two Champions League semi-finals only to bow out at the hands of Liverpool on each occasion thanks to Luis Garcia's 'ghost goal' and a penalty shoot-out loss.

 

Joe Wright - Manchester United 2006-2009

Mourinho raised the bar with Chelsea between 2004 and 2006. Alex Ferguson went one better, with the finest United team he assembled.

They weren't treble-winners, but they conquered England, Europe and the world. Three league titles 2006-07 to 2008-09, an EFL Cup, a Champions League and a Club World Cup speak volumes about the strength of this squad.

The defence, in front of Edwin van der Sar, was the greatest Ferguson ever had. Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick controlled midfield; Owen Hargreaves did the rest. Ahead of them, Wayne Rooney, Carlos Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo were dazzlingly ruthless.

Jamie Smith - Manchester City 2017-2019

European success still eludes Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium but, judged solely on domestic performances over the last two years, City are the finest team of the Premier League era.

Their points totals say it all. City obliterated the competition in becoming the first team to reach 100 points last term and they almost matched that haul despite the phenomenal pressure exerted on them by Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool, winning 14 games in a row to retain the title.

The domestic treble had never been done by a men's team in England before and while Arsenal's Invincibles were an amazing side, they were not quite the relentless winning machine built by Guardiola.

Jose Mourinho said he cannot talk about former club Manchester United "in the same joy and freedom" as other clubs, while the Portuguese boss hopes to be back in management by July.

Mourinho was sacked by United in December following a 3-1 defeat to Liverpool, which left the Red Devils sixth in the Premier League and 19 points adrift.

The former Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid boss departed Old Trafford amid reports of dressing-room unrest having seen his relationship with star Paul Pogba deteriorate.  

United failed to qualify for the Champions League despite an initial resurgence under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Mourinho had a dig at the struggling club.

"It's difficult for me to talk about Manchester," Mourinho – who won the Europa League and EFL Cup following his arrival in 2016 – told RMC Sport. 

"I can't talk about them in the same joy and freedom as I talk about other clubs."

Since his United exit, Mourinho has been linked with French side Lyon, Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain and former club Inter in Serie A.

Mourinho has also emerged as a possible replacement for Massimiliano Allegri, who will leave Italian champions Juventus at the end of the season.

"I have a lot of qualities and one of them is to respect other clubs and their management," Mourinho added. "I have never spoken like 'this club wanted me, they contacted me'.

"When I left Manchester United in December, I immediately took the decision I want to work from summer. I hope to be back to work in July in a project I really like."

Jose Mourinho believes Manchester United's end-of-season collapse has demonstrated the problems he faced during his time as manager have not been addressed by letting him go.

The former Inter and Chelsea boss faced widespread criticism for the brand of football his United team played, despite the fact he won the EFL Cup, the Europa League and led them to a second-place finish in the Premier League.

Mourinho was sacked by United in December following a 3-1 defeat to Liverpool with United sixth in the table and 19 points off the top.

Under Mourinho's replacement Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the Red Devils went on a 12-game unbeaten run in the league, but their form nosedived towards the end of the season as they failed to win any of their last five matches and finished in sixth, 32 points behind champions Manchester City.

Mourinho reminded the club's supporters of his assessment that guiding the club to second place in the league in 2017-18 was one of his "biggest achievements" as a manager, and said recent events have added weight to his comments.

"About United I want to say only two things," the 56-year-old told L'Equipe. "One is that time has spoken. Two is that the problems are still there.

"I do not always do my analysis publicly on Manchester United. I do not want to talk about it and I have the feeling that I do not need to speak, that time gives explanations.

"I said nine or 10 months ago that after winning eight championships, finishing second with United may have been my greatest achievement.

"Now people understand."

Mourinho remains tight-lipped on the question of where he might continue his career, having taken six months out of the game while occasionally working as a pundit.

Asked whether he could take over at French champions Paris Saint-Germain, where Thomas Tuchel clinched the Ligue 1 title in his first season but suffered Champions League humiliation at the hands of United, Mourinho said: "Impossible. You can't coach a club that's got a coach!"

Lyon coach Bruno Genesio has confirmed he will leave the club at the end of the season, and Mourinho was asked whether he could be his replacement at Groupama Stadium.

"No comment," said Mourinho. "I don't respond to this type of question."

Former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho thinks Mauricio Pochettino's tearful reaction to Tottenham's incredible Champions League win over Ajax proves coaches care more than the average fan.

Spurs pulled off a remarkable comeback on Wednesday, as they dramatically triumphed 3-2 at the Johan Cruijff ArenA to reach the Champions League final on away goals after a 3-3 aggregate draw.

Pochettino's side looked doomed after Ajax went into half-time 2-0 up on the day in Amsterdam, but Lucas Moura scored a second-half hat-trick – his third coming deep in the 96th minute – to send Spurs into their first Champions League final against Liverpool.

Pochettino failed to keep the tears at bay during television interviews and Mourinho – who had difficult relationship with supporters during his time at United – believes the Argentinian's reaction shows fans how much managers care.

"Sometimes the fans don't know how we feel, what it matters to us and the people that love us," he told beIN SPORTS in his role as a pundit.

"They don't know. Sometimes the football fans think they care more than us, they think it's just them.

"[Fans think:] 'Win a big match and enjoy, lose a match and go sad but tomorrow is another day.' Sometimes they don't know what we are like behind the scenes.

"[Coaches] are normally a very lonely person, in that football consumes a lot.

"It [Pochettino's tears] is a very beautiful way to show the world that for us managers, it means much more than for the ordinary fan, in defeat and in victory too."

Mourinho has been out of football since December, when he was sacked as United manager.

Jose Mourinho felt Ajax's insistence of sticking to their football philosophy contributed to their dramatic Champions League exit.

The Amsterdammers cruised into a 2-0 half-time lead in the second leg of their semi-final against Tottenham, goals from captain Matthijs de Ligt and Hakim Ziyech gifting them a 3-0 aggregate lead with just 45 minutes remaining in the tie.

Mourinho felt that was the time to divert from their usual attacking style and adopt a more defensive approach in order to see the job through.

Instead, Ajax boss Erik ten Hag changed little and a Lucas Moura hat-trick, including a 96th-minute winner, sent Spurs into a final meeting with Liverpool in Madrid on June 1.

Speaking in his role as a pundit on beIN SPORTS, Mourinho said: "The philosophy is what makes a team grow up. You need that base, you need that philosophy, you need a style of play adapted to the qualities of the players you have and Ajax deserve all the credit for that.

"[But] football is a sporting battle and in battles you need strategy and to win matches, especially special matches, you need sometimes to go against your philosophy to win a football match.

"The basic thing you do when you have an advantage is to keep your balance all the time, never [become] imbalanced.

"The balance starts with the defensive line in position and after that a certain number of players always behind the ball. But they stuck with their philosophy, they played the second half like they were playing against Vitesse in the Dutch league.

"Tottenham changed, they used very well the direct football, they were lucky, they had the Gods of football with them but they chased that luck."

Mourinho is currently out of work having been sacked by Manchester United in December 2018 with his conservative style of play alienating him from many supporters.

Jose Mourinho believes Liverpool's memorable Champions League comeback against Barcelona was down to manager Jurgen Klopp as he lavished the German in praise.

Last season's runners-up Liverpool completed the great escape at Anfield, where the Reds overturned a 3-0 semi-final first-leg deficit to win 4-0 on Tuesday.

Braces from Divock Origi and substitute Georginio Wijnaldum saw Liverpool stun Lionel Messi and Barca on Merseyside en route to the June 1 final in Madrid.

Former Manchester United boss Mourinho hailed the impact of Klopp post-match, telling beIN SPORTS: "I have to say, this remontada [comeback] has one name, Jurgen.

"I think this was not about tactics or philosophy but heart and soul and empathy that he created with this group of players.

"They had a risk of finishing a fantastic season without anything to celebrate and now they are one step from being European champions. I think Jurgen deserves it.

"The work they are doing in Liverpool is fantastic. I think this is about him. This is a reflection of his personality, never giving up, the fighting spirit, every player giving everything."

Mourinho added: "He is not crying because he's missing a player or playing 50-60 matches per season. Coaches in other leagues say their players play too many matches. Everything about today is because of Jurgen's mentality.

"I repeat, Jurgen is the man responsible for this achievement from his fantastic personality, his fantastic mentality. The team was there and the team believed."

The winner of the Ajax-Tottenham tie will face Liverpool at the Wanda Metropolitano next month.

Jose Mourinho does not believe Manchester United gave him the conditions for success that Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp have enjoyed at Manchester City and Liverpool. 

Mourinho's two-and-a-half-year tenure at Old Trafford ended when United were beaten 3-1 at Liverpool last December, amid a dispiriting run of Premier League results. 

Having arrived in Manchester at the same time as Guardiola ahead of the 2016-17 season, a renewal of the duo's rivalry from their time at Real Madrid and Barcelona was anticipated. 

It failed to materialise, despite United lifting the EFL Cup and Europa League during Mourinho's initial campaign, with Guardiola's City racking up 100 points to become champions in 2017-18 – 19 clear of the Red Devils in second place. 

It is Guardiola's dual with Klopp that has come to captivate, with both City and Liverpool having broken through the 90-point barrier with two games remaining this season. 

Mourinho made Paul Pogba the most expensive player in the world after becoming United boss, while a mega-money package persuaded Alexis Sanchez to move to Old Trafford as opposed to the Etihad Stadium last January. 

Nevertheless, the former Chelsea boss feels the more sustained backing Guardiola and Klopp enjoyed was clear. 

"I would love to go to a club and be in conditions to do what Jurgen and Pep did," Mourinho told beIN Sports, while working as a pundit covering the Champions League semi-final between Barcelona and Liverpool. 

"If you look at the [Liverpool] team that started the game, how many of them were there when Jurgen arrived? A couple," he said. 

"And when Pep was not happy with the full-backs he had [at City in 2016-17] and in the [next] summer bought four [three] full-backs that he liked.  

"When he bought one goalkeeper like Claudio Bravo and was not happy with Claudio Bravo, the next season he bought Ederson. 

"When Jurgen is in the club and wins absolutely nothing for three-and-a-half years and he still has the trust, still has the confidence, still has the conditions to try to keep going and going.  

"Probably this season they have a big chance to do it – the first time that they win a trophy. 

"In my next job I will not be starting a conversation without knowing exactly what the club wants and what the club has to give in terms of structure and the club objectives." 

Gary Neville said his former club were in hindsight wrong to appoint a manager like Mourinho, who did not align with United's traditional philosophy. 

Mourinho scoffed at this assessment and drew attention to a famous triumph over Guardiola's Barcelona with Inter in 2010 to suggest his reputation as an ultra-defensive coach is unfair. 

"You are in the direction of a lie told a thousand times become truth and it is not true," he said. 

"When people remember the incredible match that Inter played in Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final with 10 men, people say that was a masterclass of defensive football but was two buses parked. 

"You don't say that two weeks before [it was] Inter 3 Barcelona 1. We put ourselves in the position to go there and defend that result, playing with 10 men against the best team in the world, because two weeks before we beat them 3-1 and it should be four or five." 

Similarly, he felt Antonio Conte's Premier League triumph at Chelsea in 2016-17 was judged by different standards to his three over the course of two spells at Stamford Bridge. 

"When I came to Chelsea for the second time and we were champions, we were champions when we were not the best team in the country," Mourinho added. 

"To be champion when you are not the best team in the country you have to be more strategic than philosopher. 

"And then, when Chelsea was champion again with Antonio Conte, Chelsea was a counter-attacking team – very defensive and phenomenal on the counter-attack. 

"Once more they did it by the strategic point of view. But, because it was Antonio and not me, you didn't mention it." 

Emmanuel Adebayor has claimed that Jose Mourinho "killed everyone" in Real Madrid's changing room, including Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Togo international spent the second half of the 2010-11 season on loan at the Santiago Bernabeu when Mourinho was in charge of the club.

And Adebayor has lifted the lid on one dressing-room meltdown that saw Mourinho take out his frustration on his fellow Portuguese.

"At Real, we were winning 3-0 at half-time. [Mourinho] came into the dressing room and went mental," he recalled to Sportsmail.

"He kicked the fridge, kicked the television, threw water. He killed everyone. I remember he once killed Ronaldo after he scored a hat-trick.

"He said, 'Everyone says you are the best in the world and you are playing badly. Show me you are the best'.

"Cristiano took it. Ronaldo could score a hat-trick but talk about the one he missed."

Adebayor also revealed the prodigious work rate with which Ronaldo approached training at Madrid.

"He trained with us at Real Madrid as though he was training with his kids," added Adebayor.

"Passes with his back, control with his neck. He once kept the ball for five seconds with one touch! How is that even possible?

"In the gym, wow. Sergio Ramos and I were the strongest. But then came Ronaldo. 'You think that's hard?' he'd say. We'd do five reps and he'd do 30."

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