Jose Mourinho admits Manchester United cannot compare with either Real Madrid or Barcelona when it comes to their talent pool.
United have faced both Real and Barcelona in pre-season encounters over the last week, as Mourinho has fine-tuned his preparations for the new Premier League campaign.
As United return to the Champions League this season, Mourinho’s men could well come up against two of his former clubs in competitive action.
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But the United boss believes Paul Pogba is the only player in the current squad at Old Trafford who is in the same class as those at either the Nou Camp or the Bernabeu.
“I think in this moment the best players are in these two clubs and you have to accept that as a reality,” said Mourinho.
“You can be working very hard tactically to improve your players but there are players that are special players and there is nothing you can do.
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“You try to compensate the difference in quality with a certain tactical organisation and with that you can win in football. It’s possible a team is on a certain day better than the sum of the parts.
“But the parts are amazing, their relation with the ball is amazing, you can argue about occupation of spaces and speak about all of that.
“But the relation with the ball is still the most important thing and as an opponent on the bench like I am it is beautiful to see their relation with the ball.”