‘If we could exchange people’s lives for this cup, we wouldn’t think twice’

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first_img Jose Mourinho led Manchester United to Europa League glory Jose Mourinho is proud of the way Manchester United pulled together to win the Europa League, embracing the spirit shown by those in their home city since Monday’s terror attack.Fans, players and staff stood unbowed at the Friends Arena as United faced Ajax two days after 22 people were killed and many more injured in a bombing at Manchester Arena.Football seems trivial at a time of such pain but United won for their city in Stockholm, where Mourinho’s men beat Ajax 2-0 to lift the Europa League.“You know, it is really hard,” the United boss said of the tragic backdrop.“That’s why yesterday we didn’t want to have the press conference because we had to prepare ourselves to do our job and to try to forget events that are obviously much more important than our job.“But the world goes on, it doesn’t stop and we have to do our work.“I agree with UEFA’s decision to play the match but, you know, if we have questions like your question (about the importance of winning the game for the city) that made us return to this tragedy, obviously it takes happiness from our achievement.“If we could, we would exchange obviously the people’s lives for this cup – immediately, we wouldn’t think twice.“Does this cup make the city of Manchester a bit happier? Maybe.“But we just come to do our job. We come without the happiness that we should bring with us because when you come for these big matches, you go happy, you go proud and we didn’t.“We just came to do our job and the boys were fantastic because they blocked (it out), they put a wall in front of their eyes and they stay isolated from everything.“We focused on the football match, which I think we played really well and the boys deserve this moment.”Goals from Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan secured United’s first continental trophy in nine years, ensuring Champions League football returns to Old Trafford.Europa League glory also means United join Ajax, Bayern Munich and Juventus as the only clubs to have won all three major UEFA trophies, including the now-defunct European Cup Winners’ Cup, as well as the Club World Cup or the Intercontinental Cup.“For me, it is the most important trophy of my career because it is the last,” Mourinho said, having added to this season’s Community Shield and EFL Cup successes.“That’s the way I look at things. Of course Champions League is bigger than Europa League, but that’s the last trophy and the last trophy is the one where the feelings are under the skin and it’s obviously a fantastic feeling for the team.“It means everything. It means the third trophy, it means going back to the Champions League, it means winning a European trophy, it means playing European Super League in Macedonia next August.“It means for the club the last piece of the puzzle, it is now like Ajax is and some other clubs – a club with every trophy in the world of football.“So it means a lot for me, it means for a lot for the club, for the boys and for the supporters, too, I believe.” 1last_img

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