Mourinho: English clubs suffer in CL

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho says the structure of the Premier League makes it difficult for English teams to win the UEFA Champions League.

Mourinho, who won the coveted European trophy with FC Porto in 2004 and with Inter Milan in 2010, has failed twice – as manager of Chelsea.

Now at United, and preparing to face Feyenoord in the Europa League, Mourinho says in England the league will always take precedence over Europe's elite club competition.

"I think the Premier League and the internal competitions create a very difficult situation for the clubs," he told the Daily Mail.

"Other countries, they care a lot about the Champions League. In this country the Premier League will always come in front of the Champions League. The institutions that lead the competitions make it very, very clear.

"I played semi-finals of the Champions League with an English club and had to play a crucial match in the Premier League two days before."

While the English top flight has introduced Friday night fixtures to ease congestion, Mourinho says that pales in comparison to what other European leagues do to accommodate the Champions League.

"Other countries play Fridays to rest, they play Thursdays to rest. They don't play – to rest! They manage things in a way that the teams are really focused on the Champions League," he added.

"Here it is more difficult. The intensity of every match is the same. In England you cannot rest players. If you rest players thinking about Europe then you lose the match in the Premier League."

The last Premier League club to win the Champions League was the Blues, under Roberto Di Matteo, in 2012.

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