What's the story?
Former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, who is enjoying a sabbatical from coaching since December last year, has revealed which club he thinks are the favorites to go all the way in this season's UEFA Champions League, in an interview with Teleradiostereo.
The Portuguese coach has named Italian giants Juventus as the strongest contenders in this edition of the competition and mentions fellow Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo and his hunger for silverware as the main reason why the Turin-based club can win the competition this year.
In case you didn't know...
Mourinho spent three seasons at the Santiago Bernabeu in the dugout, following his Champions League success with Inter Milan in 2010.
The 56-year-old failed to bring the coveted trophy to Madrid during his spell, but won a fourth league title in his fourth different country with the club in the 2011-12 season. He coached Ronaldo for three years and knows how dedicated the player is on the pitch.
Juventus meanwhile, have managed to make it to the finals of the tournament in two of the last four editions, but have been made to go home with with a runners-up medal on both the occasions.
The heart of the matter
Mourinho, who lost his job back in December following fractures on and off the field at Manchester, now appears regularly on talk shows as a TV analyst. Talking exclusively to Teleradiostereo earlier today, he said that he views Massimiliano Allegri's Juventus as the favorites for Champions League this season.
He said responding directly to a question asked about the favorites to win the trophy in May this year: (Via Mirror)
"I think Juventus can win the Champions League."
He explained his statement, by claiming that the presence of a decisive player like Ronaldo boosts the Italian side's chances to go all the way in the competition. He continued:
"Especially as they[Juventus] have a decisive player like Cristiano Ronaldo and are so hungry for the trophy, but it wouldn't be a huge surprise if they went out to Atletico Madrid, because that is a team with a lot of ambition."
Mourinho has not revealed his next destination yet. But we can expect that a lot of clubs will be interested in securing his services come next season.
Up next for Juventus though, is a trip to the Wanda Metropolitano later tonight, as the Serie A giants prepare to face-off against Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their round-of-16 tie.Published 21 Feb 2019, 00:07 IST