Jose Mourinho’s box office press conference as Man United boss

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Ah, it’s good to have you back.

Jose Mourinho gave his first press conference as Manchester United manager on Tuesday and, as you can expect, it was box office.

Mourinho, 53, signed a three-year deal to take charge of United in June and has already made key signings before they head away on their preseason tour of China.

[ MORE: Matuidi to Man United? ]

Speaking to a packed press room in Manchester, Mourinho touched on many topics including where he plans to strengthen the team, where Wayne Rooney will play, what happened to Ryan Giggs, his record of promoting youth players and had a little dig at Arsene Wenger too.

There were also some lighthearted moments as umbrella’s and wine were mentioned in the same sentence as Sir Alex Ferguson but mostly it was all business from Mourinho.

[ MORE: Lozano to join United after Rio? ]

No “Special One” moments but he delivered a masterclass of setting out his stall and keeping everyone intrigued as to what’s coming up at Old Trafford this season.

“This is not a dream job, this is reality. I am Man United manager. The reality is that it is a club that everyone wants and not many have a chance to have. I have it and I know the responsibility and the expectations,” Mourinho said. “This challenge doesn’t make me nervous. My history in the last 10 years or more was to always believe in the big clubs and expectations. I think it comes at the right moment of my career. I feel very well prepared, very stable and with a great motivation. I can say I am where I want to be.”

Below you will find a transcript from the press conference and throughout the day at ProSoccerTalk we will be reacting to these juicy comments from Mourinho.

Here’s the man himself…

On the aim for this season

“I feel a little but frustrated I am not playing in the Champions League. I don’t hide that I chase Sir Alex Ferguson’s record in the Champions League, the number of matches as a manager. Man United is a Champions League club and we have to make sure that in July 2017, instead of waiting for the Europa League playoffs and the group draw, we have to make sure this club is where it has to be which is obviously the Champions League.

“I was never good hiding behind words or hiding behind philosophies. In fact I never tried to be good at that. I was always much more aggressive in my approach, with the risks that can obviously bring. It would be easy to be honest and pragmatic from myself if I decide to focus on the last three years, to focus on the fact that we don’t qualify for Champions League and so on and so on. It would be quite pragmatic to say let’s work and let’s try and get back to the Champions League, let’s try to get back to the top four and let’s try to do well in the Europa League. I’m not good on that. I prefer to be more aggressive and to be more aggressive is to say that we want to win. We want to win.

“Probably I can anticipate that any one of you will come later with a question about style of play and what is before, the results or the style of play? I can imagine these questions are around the corner and I can anticipate by saying you can win a short competition and a couple of matches without playing well but you can’t win competitions without playing well. What is playing well? Playing well is scoring more goals than the opponent, to concede less goals than the opponent, is to make your fans proud because you give absolutely everything, to make your fans proud because you win. So we want everything at the same time. Again, it is an aggressive approach by myself. I want everything. I want to win matches. I want to play well. I want to play young players. I want to score goals. I don’t want to concede goals. I want the fans to be behind us if in the last 10 minutes we are chasing results. I want the fans behind us because in the last 10 minutes we are defending a result.

“I want everything. Of course, we are not going to get everything. Of course. But we want to.”

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 5: New Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho during his introduction to the media at Old Trafford on July 5, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images)

On if he has something to prove after being fired at Chelsea

“There are some managers, the last time they won a title was 10 years ago. Some of them, the last time they won the title was never. The last time I won the title was one year ago. It wasn’t 10 years ago, 15 years ago. It was one year ago. If I have a lot to prove, imagine the others. The reality is that it was never important for me. I play against myself, that is my feeling many, many times. I feel like I have to prove not to the others, I have to prove to myself. That is my nature. I would never be able to work without success. That’s my nature. I have to always find the reasons why I have questions towards myself and the people working with me. It is my nature. That is why I could approach this job in a defensive point of view saying ‘yes the last three years the best we did was fourth, the best we did was an FA Cup’ and I could go into that side. I can’t go. It is my nature. We used to say in big clubs, and I’ve worked in some big clubs before, obviously Man United by the social point of view is a completely different dimension. The reality is that when people have year after year a certain type of menu, the menu has to change for better, not for worse.

“Man United fans for so many years success was just routine. In this moment, the last three years, to forget. The last three years I want to forget. I don’t want the players to start the season by thinking we have to do better. What is to do better? To do better is to finish fourth. To finish fourth is not the aim. This is what I do with myself. I am 53. I am not 63 or 73. Maybe you are tired of myself because I started so early at the highest level but I am 53. I am a very young manager. If I have this approach of not trying to prove myself, not trying to prove to the others, not going for big challenges, then I am in trouble. The reality is that I was in trouble for the last five months. That was when I was in trouble. The first month was fine. The second month was not so good and after the second month was a disaster.”

On exactly where he plans to strengthen this team 

“We made a nucleus of four positions as priorities to give a certain balance to the squad, to give a certain push in terms of quality and in terms of the qualities that I need and I want. As you know especially the ones with more vision, as you know I am a manager who likes specialists and not so much the multi-functional players because I am very clear in my approach and model of play. I need specialists. I want specialists.

“We decided four targets and from these four we have three. Until we don’t have the fourth, we are still working hard. Myself, the structure, Mr. Woodward, the owners, we are working hard on that. When we have the fourth, I breathe, we all breathe and the market will be open because we are not going to get the fourth on the 31 August, no way. We will get him before that and then we are stable. But the market will be open.”

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 5: New Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho during his introduction to the media at Old Trafford on July 5, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images)

On his so-called poor record of promoting youth players to the first team

“Do you want to know how many young players I promote to the first team from the academy? 49. Do you want to know who they are? 49. 49. If you want, or if anybody is interested, I can give you them. I promote 49 players from the academies from the club and with two factors which are very important from this matter. Sometimes you promote players because we don’t have another chance because you have so many injuries you don’t have a choice. The second factor is when you are not playing for big targets it is also easier to bring them up, outside the pressure of the big moments. My record of injuries is very, very low. Even in many years, the UEFA Champions League studies, my teams were many times the teams with the least injuries in the whole of Europe. I never promote players because of a need, I did it for conviction and a decision. The second factor is last year the only season of my career I was not fighting for the title because in every other season it was winning, or finishing second or third once. I was fighting for the title until the last moment, it was never a situation of stability and no pressure to promote players.

“I did 49. Some of the them, we are speaking about big names. We are speaking about today for example are Champions League winners, players that are in the Euros playing for national teams. 49 is a lot. Once more, one lie repeated many times. Sometimes it looks like it is true but it is always a lie. For many, many times many of you with intention, without intention, that’s not the point, I don’t care about it, it was not true. 49. If you want the names, I give you the names. That is no problem for me to prove to you that I am speaking right.”

On Ryan Giggs leaving Manchester United after 29 years as a player and coach

“About Ryan, I want to make it clear. The reality is it is not my responsibility that Ryan is not in the club. The job Ryan wanted is the job the club decided to give me. It is not my fault. Ryan wanted to be Man United manager. The club, for the reasons they can tell you, they decided the job was for me. From this moment, Ryan wants to be a manager like 16 years ago when I decided myself I want to be a manager. For many of us, coaches, we start as assistant coaches, then arrives a decision and Ryan made his decision. So when you are speaking about, did I offer him a job? He could be what he wanted in the club. The club wanted to give him any important job. He made a decision, a decision where you need to be brave. It is not easy.

“Ryan is leaving his house. He was here 29 years. Not 29 days. He was brave. He was honest. Good luck. If, one day, he wants to be back at the club, while I am here, I will never stop him to come back. I will always say yes if the club asks my opinion and if one day the club offers him the chance to become the manager I think it is something natural and consequence of his success in his managerial career.”

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 5: New Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho during his introduction to the media at Old Trafford on July 5, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images)

On advice from Sir Alex Ferguson

“Bring the umbrella and yesterday I couldn’t believe it was raining at the training ground, so it was great advice! And the second advice was to bring my typical bottle of wine because now we are going to have many occasions to be together. In this moment Sir Alex is on a bit of a holiday at a bit of the Euros so I cannot see him this week but when his summer holidays are finished, I will be based in Manchester, he is the same. We will have lots of times to meet each other. He will always be welcome to the training ground, obviously, and we will have time to share a lot of our personal stuff. Friends, family, life. Obviously he is an important opinion for me. The same way so many legends in this club they love the club, some of them are in the pundits industry in this moment. Every opinion will be important for me. Agreeing, not agreeing. But people who love the club and have a big connection with the club will always be respected by myself. I will always give a look to try and learn from them what they can teach me.”

On Wayne Rooney‘s position being in midfield or as a striker

“In football there are many jobs, there are many jobs on the field. The one that is more difficult to find is the guy who puts the ball in the net. Obviously the players change during the years, their qualities, their characteristics. It is normal that a player at this age changes a little bit but there is something that will never change. That is the natural appetite to put the ball in the net. So maybe he is not a striker anymore, maybe he is not a number nine anymore, but with me he will be never a number six, never somebody playing 50 meters away from goal. You can tell me his pass is amazing. Yes, his pass is amazing, but my pass is also amazing without pressure. There are many players with a great pass but to be there and put the ball in the net, that is the most difficult thing you have to find. For me he will be a nine, he will be a ten, he will be a nine and-a-half but not a six, not even an eight.”

USMNT upcoming schedule – Nations League, friendlies, Gold Cup


After reaching the last 16 of the 2022 World Cup, the USMNT have a big 2023 coming up as they aim to build off a successful showing on the world’s biggest stage.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA

For the next few months CONCACAF Nations League takes center stage, while the program is very much in transition as Anthony Hudson takes temporary charge and both the GM (Brian McBride) and Sporting Director (Earnie Stewart) left in recent months.

[ MORE: USMNT roster for Nations League features Gio Reyna, no Tyler Adams ]

As for now, here is the USMNT’s upcoming schedule for 2023, with plenty more games to be added based on their potential qualification for the 2023 Gold Cup on home soil.

How to watch USMNT

TV channels in English: HBO Max, TNT
TV channels en Español:
Universo, Telemundo Deportes
Streaming en Español: Peacock

USMNT upcoming schedule

* Friendly | ** CONCACAF Nations League | *** 2022 World Cup


vs. Serbia* — Jan. 25, 10 pm ET — Loss 2-1 | Recap & highlights
vs. Colombia* — Jan. 28, 7:30 pm ET — Draw 0-0 | Recap & highlights
at Grenada** — March 24, 8 pm ET — St. George’s, Grenada
vs El Salvador** — March 27, 7:30pm ET — Orlando, Florida
vs Mexico* — April 19, 10:22pm ET — Glendale, Arizona – More details 

2023 Gold Cup from June 16 to July 19 (USMNT yet to qualify)

USMNT games in 2022

vs. Morocco* — June 1 — Win 3-0
vs. Uruguay* — June 5 — Draw 0-0
vs. Grenada** — June 10 — Win 5-0
at El Salvador** — June 14 — Draw 1-1
vs Japan* — Sept. 23 (in Dusseldorf, Germany) — Loss 2-0
vs Saudi Arabia* — Sept. 27 (in Murcia, Spain) — Draw 0-0

USMNT at 2022 World Cup

Group B
vs. Wales*** — Nov. 21, 2 pm ET — Draw 1-1
vs. England*** — Nov. 25, 2 pm ET — Draw 0-0
vs. Iran*** — Nov. 29, 2 pm ET — Win 1-0

Last 16
vs. Netherlands*** — Dec. 3, 10 am ET — Loss 3-1

USMNT 2022 World Cup qualifying scores, recaps, analysis

at El Salvador — Sept. 2Draw 0-0
vs. Canada — Sept. 5 — Draw 1-1
at Honduras — Sept. 8 — Win 4-1

vs. Jamaica — Oct. 7 — Win 1-0
at Panama — Oct. 10 — Loss 0-1
vs. Costa Rica — Oct. 13 — Win 2-1

vs. Mexico — Nov. 12 — Win 2-0
at Jamaica — Nov. 16 — Draw 1-1

vs. El Salvador — Jan. 27 — Win 1-0
at Canada — Jan. 30 — Loss 0-2
vs. Honduras — Feb. 2 — Win 3-0

at Mexico — March 24 — Draw 0-0 
vs. Panama — March 27 — Win 5-1
at Costa Rica — March 30 — Loss 0-2 

Final CONCACAF World Cup qualifying standings

Canada — 28 points – (QUALIFIED) GD +16 – automatic qualification
Mexico — 28 points (QUALIFIED) GD +9 – automatic qualification
USMNT — 25 points – (QUALIFIED) GD +11 – automatic qualification

Costa Rica — 25 points (PLAYOFF) GD +5

Panama — 21 points (ELIMINATED)
Jamaica — 14 points (ELIMINATED)
El Salvador — 10 points (ELIMINATED)
Honduras — 4 points (ELIMINATED)

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Harry Kane breaks Rooney record, England outlasts Italy comeback bid

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Harry Kane broke Wayne Rooney’s record for goals in an England shirt, and the Three Lions outlasted a Luke Shaw red card and Mateo Retegui goal on his Italy debut to start EURO 2024 qualifying brightly with a 2-1 win in Napoli.

The win is England’s first in Italy since 1961.

England began its EURO 2024 quest the same way it finished its heartbreaking EURO 2020 campaign: facing Italy, now two-time champions of Europe, on Thursday.

[ LIVE: EURO 2024 qualifying scores – Italy vs England ]

Declan Rice buried a Harry Kane rebound off a corner kick, then Kane converted a penalty for his 54th England goal to break a tie with Rooney atop the Three Lions’ goals chart.

But Italy surged back to get a goal from Tigre’s Retegui on debut, and Shaw was awarded two yellow cards in three minutes to set England up to defend at least 10 minutes down a man.

Italy and England are joined in Group C by Ukraine, North Macedonia, and Malta. The sides that finish 1st and 2nd in the group will qualify for next summer’s tournament in Germany.

[ MORE: USMNT upcoming schedule – Nations League, friendlies, Gold Cup ]

Italy vs England player ratings: Stars of the Show

Harry Kane

Francesco Acerbi

Declan Rice

Bukayo Saka

Italy vs England player ratings

What’s next?

England hosts Ukraine at Noon ET Sunday, the same day Italy visits Malta at Ta’Qali National Stadium.

Declan Rice goal video: West Ham man pumps in rebound off corner

Harry Kane goal video: VAR-awarded penalty, converted

Mateo Retegui goal video: Argentine-born striker scores on debut

How to watch Italy vs England live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 3:45pm ET, Thursday (March 23)
Stadium: Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, Napoli

Italy lineup and squad

Goalkeepers – Gianluigi Donnarumma (Paris Saint-Germain), Alex Meret (Napoli), Claudio Carnesecchi (Cremonese), Wladimiro Falcone (Lecce)

Defenders – Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Matteo Darmian (Inter Milan), Francesco Acerbi (Inter Milan), Emerson Palmieri (West Ham), Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Napoli), Leonardo Spinazzola (Roma), Alessio Romagnoli (Lazio), Rafael Toloi (Atalanta), Giorgio Scalvini (Atalanta), Alessandro Buongiorno (Torino)

Midfielders – Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain), Jorginho (Arsenal), Nicolo Barella (Inter Milan), Bryan Cristante (Roma), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma), Matteo Pessina (Monza), Sandro Tonali (AC Milan), Davide Frattesi (Sassuolo)

Forwards – Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo), Gianluca Scamacca (West Ham), Vincenzo Grifo (Freiburg), Wilfried Gnonto (Leeds), Simone Pafundi (Udinese), Mateo Retegui (Tigre)

England lineup and squad

Goalkeepers – Jordan Pickford (Everton), Fraser Forster (Tottenham), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal)

Defenders – Kyle Walker (Manchester City), John Stones (Manchester City), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Reece James (Chelsea), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace)

Midfielders – Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Declan Rice (West Ham), Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City), Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea)

Forwards – Harry Kane (Tottenham), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Phil Foden (Manchester City), James Maddison (Leicester), Ivan Toney (Brentford)

Follow @AndyEdMLS

EURO 2024 qualification schedule: EURO qualifiers results, standings


EURO 2024 qualifying is here, and you’re in the right spot for groups, fixtures, and results.

Italy outlasted England in penalty kicks to win EURO 2020 and is bidding to become the first repeat winner since Spain in 2008 and 2012.

[ MORE: Breaking down Premier League title race ]

England is still seeking its first European Championship and will be favored to emerge from Group C with aforementioned Italy as well as Ukraine, North Macedonia, and Malta.

Netherlands and France are also in a spicy group that has dark horse Republic of Ireland and former champions Greece, as well as Gibraltar.

A number of nations have guaranteed themselves no worse than a playoff spot due to their performances in the UEFA Nations League: Netherlands, Greece, Italy, Spain, Scotland, Georgia, Croatia, Turkey, Serbia, Kazakhstan.

EURO 2024 qualifying schedule

Thursday, March 23

Kazakhstan 1-2 Slovenia
Slovakia 0-0 Luxembourg
Italy 1-2 England – Video, player ratings as Kane breaks Rooney record
Denmark 3-1 Finland
Portugal 4-0 Liechtenstein
San Marino 0-2 Northern Ireland
North Macedonia 2-1 Malta
Bosnia and Herzegovina 3-0 Iceland

Friday, March 24

Bulgaria vs Montenegro — 1pm ET
Gibraltar vs Greece — 3:45pm ET
Moldova vs Faroe Islands — 3:45pm ET
Serbia vs Lithuania — 3:45pm ET
Austria vs Azerbaijan — 3:45pm ET
Sweden vs Belgium– 3:45pm ET
Czech Republic vs Poland — 3:45pm ET
France vs Netherlands — 3:45pm ET

Saturday, March 25

Scotland vs Cyprus — 10am ET
Israel vs Kosovo  — 1pm ET
Armenia vs Turkey — 1pm ET
Belarus vs Switzerland  — 1pm ET
Spain vs Norway — 3:45pm ET
Croatia vs Wales — 3:45pm ET
Andorra vs Romania — 3:45pm ET

Sunday, March 26

Kazakhstan vs Denmark — 9am ET
England vs Ukraine — Noon ET
Liechtenstein vs Iceland — Noon ET
Slovenia vs San Marino — Noon ET
Slovakia vs Bosnia and Herzegovina — 2:45pm ET
Northern Ireland vs Finland — 2:45pm ET
Luxembourg vs Portugal — 2:45pm ET
Malta vs Italy — 2:45pm ET

Monday, March 27

Montenegro vs Serbia — 2:45pm ET
Netherlands vs Gibraltar — 2:45pm ET
Poland vs Albania — 2:45pm ET
Austria vs Estonia — 2:45pm ET
Sweden vs Azerbaijan — 2:45pm ET
Moldova vs Czech Republic — 2:45pm ET
Hungary vs Bulgaria — 2:45pm ET
Republic of Ireland vs France — 2:45pm ET

Tuesday, March 28

Georgia vs Norway — Noon ET
Wales vs Latvia — 2:45pm ET
Romania vs Belarus — 2:45pm ET
Switzerland vs Israel — 2:45pm ET
Kosovo vs Andorra — 2:45pm ET
Turkey vs Croatia — 2:45pm ET
Scotland vs Spain — 2:45pm ET

EURO 2024 qualifying standings

Group A


Group B

Republic of Ireland

Group C

North Macedonia

Group D


Group E

Czech Republic
Faroe Islands

Group F


Group G


Group H

Northern Ireland
San Marino

Group I


Group J

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Premier League title race: Current form, key fixtures, injuries, odds, predictions


The Premier League title race is going down to the wire in the 2022-23 season and there are some huge games coming up between now and the final day on May 28.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA

Can Arsenal win the first Premier League title since 2003-04? Will Manchester City win three in a row to make it five titles in the last six seasons under Pep Guardiola? For a while it looked like Manchester United could come from nowhere to stun everyone and secure their first title in a decade, but they have regressed in recent weeks.

Below is a look at the key fixtures, current form, odds and predictions for the contenders to be crowned Premier League champions.

Remaining fixtures for title contenders

Arsenal (69 points through 28 games): Leeds (H), Liverpool (A), West Ham (A), Southampton (H), Man City (A), Chelsea (H), Newcastle (A), Brighton (H), Nottingham Forest (A), Wolves (H)

Manchester City (61 points through 27 games): Liverpool (H), Southampton (A), Leicester City (H), Brighton (A), Arsenal (H), Fulham (A), Leeds (H), Everton (A), Chelsea (H), West Ham (H), Brentford (A)

Manchester United (50 points through 26 games): Newcastle (A), Everton (H), Nottingham Forest (A), Chelsea (H), Tottenham (A), Aston Villa (H), West Ham (A), Wolves (H), Bournemouth (A), Brighton (A), Fulham (H)

Key fixtures that will decide the Premier League title

Saturday, April 1: Manchester City vs Liverpool – 7:30am ET
Sunday, April 2: Newcastle vs Manchester United – 11:30am ET
Sunday, April 9: Arsenal vs Liverpool – 11:30am ET
Wednesday, April 26: Manchester City vs Arsenal – 3pm ET
Thursday, April 27: Tottenham vs Manchester United – 3:15pm ET
Saturday, April 29: Arsenal vs Chelsea – 12:30pm ET
Saturday, May 6: Newcastle vs Arsenal – 10am ET
Saturday, May 20: Manchester City vs Chelsea – 10am ET

Current form (As of March 20, 2023)

Arsenal’s last 5 results: WWWWW
Manchester City’s last 5 results: WWWDW
Manchester United’s last 5 results: DLWWD

Current Premier League table

Premier League standings


Head to NBC Sports’s soccer standings home page

Key injuries

Arsenal: Mohamed Elneny (no return date), Takehiro Tomiyasu (knee), Eddie Nketiah (ankle), William Saliba (back)

Manchester City: None

Manchester United: Donny van de Beek (knee – out for season), Christian Eriksen (ankle – out until late April), Anthony Martial (hip injury)

Premier League title odds (As of March 11, 2023)

(Betting odds provided by our partner, BetMGM ) BetMGM is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on BetMGM for the first time after clicking our links.

Arsenal: -110
Manchester City: -110
Manchester United: +3300
Liverpool: +50000
Tottenham: +50000
Newcastle United: +50000

Prediction for Premier League title race

1. Manchester City – 87 points (Win the title on goal difference)
2. Arsenal – 87 points
3. Manchester United – 78 points