Mourinho insists Premier League schedule prevents English clubs from flourishing in Europe


The Portuguese manager insisted that a team from England would never be fresh at the time Juventus and Real Madrid played in Cardiff last year.

Manchester United head coach José Mourinho once again has highlighted the importance of a potential winter break in the Premier League. The Portuguese tactician has stated more than once that the tight Christmas schedule that English clubs have is the factor beneath Premier League clubs not doing well in the Champions League. Adding up to his claims is the fact that English teams have not gone past the last 16 ever since Chelsea won the tournament in 2012.

Mourinho even criticized the organisers of the Premier League last year for failing to protect the clubs competing in Europe with the schedules they come up with. Ahead of United’s opening game in Champions League against Basel, the Portuguese stated that English teams are usually at an disadvantage because of their fixtures.

“The only thing I can say is that Real Madrid last year played the last month in La Liga with the second team,” he said. “They could do it and they arrived at the Champions League final with a fresh team.

“Juventus were champions in Italy three months in advance and could arrive fresh for the quarter-finals, semi-finals, final.

“For English teams, normally, that’s impossible. There’s no winter break, like in other countries, although I have to admit that I love the Christmas period in English football.

“Other countries protect their clubs. For example, Benfica played Friday. We always did that in Portugal and Italy. Paris Saint-Germain played Friday. That happens all the time.

“But no complaining. We have a squad, if you see the players are tired then you have to play others.”