Jose Mourinho has claimed he deserves recognition for steering Tottenham to the Carabao Cup final, insisting he should get half a trophy because he was sacked shortly before the Wembley showpiece against Manchester City.
Mourinho has won 25 league titles and cups during an illustrious managerial career with Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Manchester United and seemed to have the chance to add Spurs to that list in April.
However, less than a week before the fixture against City, Mourinho was removed from his position as Spurs head coach after just 17 months in charge, with Ryan Mason overseeing a 1-0 defeat against Pep Guardiola’s side.
And in an interview with The Sun, Mourinho, who will take the reins at Serie A side Roma from next season, asserted he is justified in adding to his trophy haul.
He said: “So if you want me to be proactive now you can ask me, ‘how many trophies have you won in your career?’ And I’ll tell you 25 and a half. The half is the final that I didn’t play with Tottenham.
“You ask the guys who played lots of finals and everybody will tell you, ‘to play a final is a dream’ and it doesn’t matter if it is the first final or number 20 or number 50, a final is always a dream.
“A Wembley final is more than a dream, I played the first on the new Wembley and every time I go there, it’s more than a dream and to have a chance to win a trophy with a club that doesn’t have many of course was a double dream.
“I am the kind of guy that when I close the door of a club, I move and I just wish good to people, but in a funny way I would say I have 25 and a half titles because it’s something that marks my career which is not to play a final that I won the right to go there.”
For all Mourinho’s faults at Spurs, he helped striker Harry Kane go to new levels, with the 27-year-old winning the Premier League Golden Boot and Playmaker awards.
Kane is understood to have told Tottenham he wants to leave this summer, but Mourinho would not be drawn on whether that should happen.
He did say, however, that for the England captain to leave a legacy, he needs to win trophies.
“I think he has to play where he is happy. And I think he is happy in England. He is a very Premier League guy,” Mourinho added.
“It is about legacy. Legacy is about medals. I believe all the top players have the feeling of ‘I want to win’.
“But who knows? In five weeks Harry could be a European champion.”
The highlight of Mourinho’s spell in north London was the partnership between Kane and Son Heung-min.
The pair combined for 14 goals last season, breaking a Premier League record set by Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton in 1994-95.
Mourinho said of working with Kane: “I enjoyed very much, I enjoyed the fact he won the Golden Boot again. To win the Golden Boot, to win the award for most assists, for him and Son to beat the record of most assists to each other.
“I love very much to work with Harry from an individual point of view but I always enjoyed the partnership between these two fantastic players.”