Mourinho eyes Sir Alex’s UCL appearance record

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has set his sights on Sir Alex Ferguson’s Champions League appearance record as he prepares for their return to the competition.

The Red Devils did not participate in the Champions League last season, but instead competed in the Europa League where they went on to win the silverware, thereby securing their place in Europe’s elite club competition once again.

United legend Sir Alex Ferguson holds the record for the most games managed in the Champions League at 194, and Mourinho, who sits at 133 matches, is determined to reach the top of the list.

“It’s good for the players, it’s good for me, it’s good for the club,” he told MUTV. “[It] is where we want to go and I think the credit we deserve for last season was exactly to be in the habitat that is not our natural habitat, to do everything to win it [the Europa League] like we did and to do everything we can to respect the second biggest competition in European football.

“But the Champions League is where we want to be and maybe I’m too ambitious, I don’t know, but I want to be the manager with more matches [in the Champions League].”

He added: “I know that I am in the top five or six but I’m quite far, especially from the top one [Sir Alex], but I will fight hard to go for that record. Last season, I lost a season in the chase for this record but Manchester United is where Manchester United has to be and I’m really happy with that.

“The Champions League night is a unique experience for everyone. I have some players without that great experience, I think it will be fabulous for them and the fans to be back in the Champions League and to have the initial three matches to be played at Old Trafford, I think is fantastic.”