Jose Mourinho has aimed a subtle dig at Pep Guardiola for claiming that the Premier League title was the most important trophy to win.
Manchester City were confirmed as champions following Manchester United’s defeat to West Bromwich Albion earlier this month and are likely to become the first Premier League side to break 100 points in a single season.
Man United will have to settle for second spot this time around but could yet finish this season with the FA Cup to their name after dismissing Tottenham Hotspur in the semi-final.
And the 55-year-old, when asked by a Spanish journalist about Guardiola’s claim that the Premier League was the best trophy to win, delivered a typically Mourinho-esque quip in response.
“I think we always say the most important one is the one that we win,” he said.
“So when I won the Champions League the Champions League was the most important trophy for me, when I won the leagues, the leagues were more most important for me. And when I win nothing I say that winning is not important.”
In any country, the league – a 38 game marathon played over a nine topsy turvy months – is the best empirical measure of superiority. That cannot be questioned.
At the same time, however, to suggest that success can only be measured in titles simply doesn’t account for the nuance of a long, ever oscillating season. In the top five leagues in Europe, comprising of nearly 100 teams, nobody is going to claim that only five – Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint Germain, probably Juventus, Man City – have enjoyed a successful season.
For United, finishing with 86 points and an FA Cup will not be perfect, but nobody would call it underwhelming either.