Mourinho rates Europa League opponents after avoiding all-Prem clash

Date published: Friday 26th February 2021 2:41 - Robert McCarthy

Jose Mourinho TEAMtalk

Jose Mourinho has given his reaction to Tottenham’s Europa League last-16 draw, which will see them take Dinamo Zagreb.

Spurs will face the Croatian outfit over two legs on March 11 and 18, with the first tie away.

However, there are some reports suggesting that Tottenham may have to reverse the fixture and play at home first. That is due to Arsenal also being drawn at home, and the fact they are FA Cup holders gives them the fixture rights.

Mourinho was relieved not to face any English opposition, although he admits that will happen at some point – if they get through.

He said: “When you are in this competition and you get to this stage you don’t get easy clubs.

“If you want to win it, sooner or later you have to play against the best clubs or the ones who go through the different stages.

“So the objective now is to win against Dinamo and then if later Arsenal and Manchester United are in the competition we have always to face them.

“I think, yeah it happened in the Champions League final, two English clubs, happened in the Europa League with Arsenal and Chelsea too.

“It’s something that can happen and if it does, wonderful for us if we are one of the two teams and wonderful for English football to have two teams in the final.

“But in this moment 16 teams, everybody wants the same so it’s very premature to think about it.”

Zagreb are no pushover

Mourinho also thinks his Spurs side are in for a rough ride against their Croatian opponents.

He added: “Dinamo, they beat Krasnodar twice. Krasnodar is a Russian team and it’s never easy to play them. I played Russian teams many times and it’s never easy. They beat them twice.

“In the group stage, of course they won it, not only against Wolfsberger, but Feyenoord and CSKA Moscow. They are every season in European competitions.

“I played against them with Real Madrid in the Champions League. Croatian football is Croatian football, lots of talent.

“It’s a football country. Good stadium, I believe we are going to play there, good stadium. Not a very difficult flight, not too far.

“I feel very positive things but the most important thing is that we get to the quarter-finals.”

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