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United’s Mourinho Eyes First Super Cup Win In Real Reunion

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Manchester United’s Jose Mourinho can collect the one European trophy he lacks when his side face Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup on Tuesday.

This will be his first competitive meeting with the Spanish giants since an acrimonious split in 2013.

Mourinho won the Europa League last season to salvage an otherwise disappointing first campaign under the Portuguese.

During his stint in Spain, he had 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.

He also had confrontations with referees and opponents plus a failure to win the Champions League as Real lost in the semifinals 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 the Portuguese 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.

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.

Meanwhile, Man United will be missing central defenders Eric Bailly and Phil Jones, due to suspension, opening up a place in the starting lineup 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.

They arrived at a combined cost of 146 million pounds ($190.34 million) as the Old Trafford side looks to improve on a disappointing sixth-placed Premier League finish last term.

Real ,have added promising youngsters Theo Hernandez and Dani Ceballos to their talent-packed 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 month and won five of their other pre-season games, losing only to Barcelona.

Real, meanwhile,failed to win any of their four friendlies in the United States in 90 minutes.

They lost 3-2 to Barca and got thrashed 4-1 by Manchester City, their only win came in a shoot-out victory over an MLS All-Stars team.

“The sensation overall is not good, when you don’t win any of your four games something is wrong,” Zidane told reporters after the tour.

“We have to do a lot more, we’ve made a bad start with these results and what we all want is to get home, rest and think about the Super Cup.”(Reuters/NAN)



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