Jose Mourinho justified Manchester United’s direct approach to the Europa League final as they brushed Ajax aside 2-0.
United were too strong for their Dutch opponents and for Ajax, who were the youngest ever in a major European final, it was men against boys as United played up to their target Marouane Fellaini.
And Less than 48 hours after a terror attack killed 22 people and injured many more at Manchester Arena, the club’s fans, players and staff stood unbowed in Stockholm.
Football seems trivial at a time of such pain but United embraced the spirit shown in spades by the city they represent, with Mourinho’s men winning the Europa League as goals from Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan secured a 2-0 triumph against Ajax
Mourinho said: “It is the end of a very difficult season. But a very very good season.
“We preferred to reach the Champions League this way than finish fourth, third or second. We got the objective, we are back in the Champions League by winning a title, an important title.
“The club now has every title in world football. We fought hard for this since the beginning.
“We always thought that we could win the Europa League and we are very happy. We played intelligently, we did it in a comfortable way. We were much stronger than them.
“If you are dominant in the air you go long. There are lots of poets in football but poets don’t win many titles. We knew where we were better than them and we exploited their weaknesses.
“We totally deserved the win. I am so happy to see the boys with the crutches with the trophy and now I am on holiday. I don’t want to see any international friendlies, I am selfish. I can’t do it.
“For me, enough is enough. It has been a very hard last few months, we were short of numbers.
“Three trophies in one season and the Champions League. I am very happy in my most difficult season as a manager.”
Mourinho also left the door open for Wayne Rooney, who was a late substitute in Sweden, to stay at Old Trafford.
“Ed Woodward has my list, what I want, what I would like for more than two months. So now it’s up to him and the owners. But I don’t care about football for now,” added Mourinho.
“Wayne Rooney was ready to play, he was a big option. But I didn’t need to attack at 2-0. I told him yesterday that he could be the key man but he can perfectly be here next season. He is a very important player for us. If he stays next season I’d be very happy.”