In Brief

Mourinho warns Chelsea: I don't want to win Europa League

Special One has a dig at Benitez and calls last year's trophy a 'big disappointment'

CHELSEA BOSS Jose Mourinho has delivered the first classic quote of his second stint in charge at Stamford Bridge, belittling the achievements of his predecessor Rafa Benitez by declaring that it would be a "big disappointment" if Chelsea won the Europa League again next season.

The Blues lifted the trophy after beating Benfica in the final in May. But they only joined the competition after being knocked out of the Champions League in the group stages. And that is clearly something that Mourinho does not intend to let happen again.

"I don't want to win the Europa League," the Special One announced to the BBC. "It would be a big disappointment for me. I don't want my players to feel the Europa League is our competition."

Mourinho said he would focus on the Champions League and would try to win a second title for Chelsea and a third for himself as a manager. The comment can be taken as a warning to the Blues squad and a sly dig at his old rival.

Benitez, now in charge of Napoli, was a hugely unpopular choice with the Chelsea fans when he was picked as interim Chelsea boss midway through last season, mainly on account of his run-ins with Mourinho when he was in charge of Liverpool.

The remark can also be seen as the Portuguese manager laying down a marker to his players for next season, and he warned that club legends like John Terry and Frank Lampard would still have to fight for their places.

"I don't care about the passport, I don't care about the date of their birth, I just care about performance," said Mourinho. "If they are better than the young guys then they play. If the young guys are better than them they don't play."

Mourinho insisted that misfiring £50m striker Fernando Torres would also have to earn his place in the side. He said there was always "pressure" on players and added: "Fernando has to cope with that".

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