Jose Mourinho has called a lot of Europe’s biggest teams “failed sharks of the Champions League” if they drop down to join his Roma squad in the Europa League.
If Barcelona and Juventus both place third in their respective Champions League groups, there is a real possibility that both teams will drop down and advance to the Europa League semifinals.
UEFA’s premier club competition’s Atletico Madrid and AC Milan are both at risk of meeting the same end after poor group stage campaigns.
Additionally, despite the fact that Mourinho’s Roma still need to improve in order to go to the final rounds of the Europa League, the former manager of Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Inter Milan couldn’t help but make a playful jab at his former rivals.
When asked about the team that is most likely to make it out of his team’s Europa League group, after Roma’s 1-1 draw with Real Betis, Jose Mourinho said with a smirk: “I see them [Betis] as candidates, but the failed sharks of the Champions League will arrive, and they will come in hard.”
“They shouldn’t come but it’s the reality. It’s going to be fun. The failures of the Champions League.”
With a 1-0 loss at the San Siro followed by a thrilling 3-3 tie at home, Barcelona currently sits third in the Champions League group behind Bayern Munich and Inter Milan and does not currently own a head-to-head advantage over the Italian team.
Juventus, however, is currently third in Group H behind PSG and Benfica, but their chances of moving on to the next round have been severely damaged by an ugly 2-0 loss to Maccabi Haifa.
Given that Club Brugge has already sensationally locked up their spot in the round of 16, Atletico Madrid and Porto are now vying for the final qualifying slot in Group B.
While Chelsea, who are in first place in Group E, are three points ahead of AC Milan in third place, behind RB Salzburg.
Roma will drop to the Europa Conference League, where they will have the opportunity to defend their title, if they finish in the third place of their group.
Jose Mourinho continued: “We want to go through and finish second, but if we finish third, we’ll become candidates to retain the Conference League.'”
Barcelona can suffer severe financial ramifications if they drop to the Europa League.
Unless Barcelona can win their next two games and other results fall in their favor, they stand to lose a significant amount of money, according to the Spanish daily Mundo Deportivo.
According to reports, the club would lose £18.4 million if they didn’t advance to the tournament’s quarterfinal round.
Barcelona, as was previously reported, spent almost £132 million on rebuilding Xavi’s team in the summer, but they must pay for that expenditure this season in order to meet their budgeted goal of having the team finish at least eighth in the European competition.
However, progress now appears unlikely for Xavi’s team, who must also defeat Bayern Munich, a team they have had difficulty defeating in recent seasons.
Barcelona would make about £8.4 million, as was originally estimated, and an additional £9.3 million if they advance to the quarterfinals of the Champions League.
If they advanced that far, they would receive an additional £11 million for the semifinals and either £13.6 million or £17.5 million if they win the final.