Jose Mourinho remembers watching one of Tottenham’s most famous FA Cup memories on television and will do everything he can to deliver some of his own.
Mourinho was an 18-year-old in Portugal when he saw Ricky Villa score his famous goal in the 1981 final replay against Manchester City.
Watching the showpiece of English football on television growing up helped him fall in love with the FA Cup, a competition he won once with Chelsea in 2007.
Tottenham also have a rich FA Cup history, with eight wins – though none since 1991.
He is about to embark on his first campaign in this competition as Spurs boss, with an away trip to Middlesbrough on Sunday, and reminisced about his childhood.
“For me the FA Cup is a very, very special cup,” he said.
“And that’s for me, individually. Me as the Tottenham coach I know what the competition means to the Tottenham supporters.
“The history they have, the memories they have, the victories they have. The unforgettable goals they scored. The Ricardo Villa goal I watched as a teenager I don’t forget.
“I could only imagine what it means to the Tottenham fans.
“I was in my house with my dad and FA Cup finals – late 60s, early 70s – there were not many matches live on TV.
“I think national team matches, the three European cup finals and the FA Cup.
“And the FA Cup was basically the last match of the season so I think I didn’t miss one in that period. Little kid, young teenager, I don’t think I missed one.”
The FA Cup is one of two remaining competitions that could give Mourinho silverware in his first season in north London and he has vowed to do everything he can to end Spurs’ trophy drought.
“I am not saying we are candidates, I am not saying we are going to win it, but I am saying we have to play this competition seriously,” he added.
“You can tell me, ‘Jose you are in trouble, you have lots of injuries and not many options, and you have a Premier League to try to finish in the top six or fourth’.
“But I am not going to give more attention to the Premier League than the cup.
“For me a competition is a competition, a match is a match and again the FA Cup is a special cup. I don’t see it in another way.
“If Middlesbrough beat us they beat us because they were very good or because we were bad.
“Or because we were not good enough but not because the Tottenham coach didn’t give to the cup the responsibility, not at all, no chance.”
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