Zi­dane hopes out-of sorts Real can over­come Mour­inho

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

MANCH­ESTER United’s Jose Mour­inho can col­lect the one Euro­pean tro­phy he lacks when his side face Real Madrid in the Uefa Su­per Cup tonight in his first com­pet­i­tive meet­ing with the Span­ish gi­ants since an ac­ri­mo­nious split in 2013.

Mour­inho, whose team won the Europa League last sea­son to sal­vage an oth­er­wise dis­ap­point­ing first cam­paign un­der the Por­tuguese coach, led Real to the Liga ti­tle with a record 100 points and won a King’s Cup in an event­ful stay be­tween 2010 and 2013.

His achieve­ments at the San­ti­ago Bern­abeu were over­shad­owed, how­ever, by his fall­ing out with key dress­ing-room fig­ures such as Ser­gio Ramos and Iker Casil­las as well as con­fronta­tions with ref­er­ees and op­po­nents, plus a fail­ure to win the Cham­pi­ons League, as Real lost in the semi-fi­nals each year.

Mour­inho’s legacy has been up­staged by the Span­ish club’s three Cham­pi­ons League tri­umphs in the four years since his de­par­ture, although in a re­cent in­ter­view he claimed he had “to beg” Real’s board to let him leave for Chelsea.

Cham­pi­ons League hold­ers Real will be with­out tal­is­man and former United for­ward Cris­tiano Ronaldo in Skopje, Mace­do­nia, as the Por­tu­gal in­ter­na­tional was al­lowed to re­port late for pre-sea­son train­ing af­ter he played in the Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup.

Zine­dine Zi­dane’s side beat Sevilla 3-2 in ex­tra-time last year to win the show­case match and the French coach is tar­get­ing a fourth Euro­pean tro­phy in less than two years in charge of Real, which would match Mour­inho’s tally of continental ti­tles.

United, mean­while, will be miss­ing cen­tral de­fend­ers Eric Bailly and Phil Jones due to sus­pen­sion, open­ing up a place in the start­ing XI for new re­cruit Vic­tor Lin­de­lof.

The Swede is one of three sign­ings made so far by United along with Bel­gium striker Romelu Lukaku and mid­field an­chor­man Ne­manja Matic ar­riv­ing at a com­bined cost of £146 mil­lion (R2.5bn) as the side look to im­prove on a dis­ap­point­ing sixth-placed Premier League fin­ish last term.

Real have added promis­ing young­sters Theo Her­nan­dez and Dani Ce­bal­los to their squad, which won a Liga and Cham­pi­ons League dou­ble last sea­son, while part­ing ways with for­wards Al­varo Mo­rata and James Ro­driguez.

Their re­ported in­ter­est in French teenage sen­sa­tion Kylian Mbappe has yet to ma­te­ri­alise, how­ever.

United beat Real on penal­ties af­ter a 1-1 draw in a friendly in Cal­i­for­nia last

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