Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho defends record: 'I am one of the greatest'
MANCHESTER, England -- Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has branded himself "one of the greatest managers in the world" while launching a fierce defence of his record.
Mourinho has come under pressure at Old Trafford after overseeing United's worst start to a season since 1992. And ahead of a must-win clash at Burnley on Sunday, the under-fire boss has hit back at his critics.
"I am the manager of one of the greatest clubs in the world but I am also one of the greatest managers in the world," Mourinho told a news conference at Carrington on Friday, four days after asking for more "respect" for his CV following the dismal 3-0 defeat to Tottenham.
He was then asked whether he would still consider himself a great manager if he fails to win the Premier League title with United. In his reply, the Portuguese manager said "of course" while also choosing to aim a dig at Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham and quote German philosopher Georg Hegel.
"Do you ask that question to the manager that finished third in the Premier League? Or fourth?," he said. "Did you read any philosopher? Just as an example, Hegel says the truth is in the whole, is always in the whole.
"I had last season great success. I had great success last season, that's what you probably don't want to admit. I analyse my performance myself and for me it is more important what I think than what you think.
"I repeat that two seasons ago we had a fantastic season by winning the Europa League. Last season everybody thought Atletico Madrid amazing because they won the Europa League after being knocked out of the Champions League.
"We are the last team in England to win a European cup. I repeat, I won eight titles. I am the only manager in the world that won in Italy, Spain and England and by winning eight titles, not small titles or in small countries, my second position last season is one of my greatest achievements in football, I think."
Mourinho received the backing of United supporters following the defeat to Tottenham at Old Trafford on Monday while standing in front of the Stretford End before heading down the tunnel. And when it was put to him that the travelling Spurs fans were singing "you're not special anymore," he took the opportunity to answer back.
"They didn't have that song when we beat them at Wembley a couple of months ago," he said. "It was cup final they had a big dream to go to, a title they had a big dream to win because they don't win many, in that night at Wembley the United fans were singing the Special One and of course they were not singing that."