MANCHESTER, England — Jose Mourinho took to channeling the musings of a famous German philosopher on Friday to remind critics he is still the "special one."
The Manchester United manager is under scrutiny after his team's back-to-back losses in the Premier League, which have come after an offseason in which Mourinho was often in glum mood for missing out on transfer targets.
"I am the manager of the one of the greatest clubs in the world but I'm also one of the greatest managers in the world," said Mourinho, who was the asked if would still be seen as a great coach if he doesn't win a league title at United.
Mourinho then turned to a quote by German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.
"Did you read any philosophers?" he asked reporters. "Or information? You never spend time reading, for example, Hegel? OK, so, just as an example: Hegel says the truth is in the whole. It's always in the whole that you find the truth."
It was a reference to his overall record as a manager, having won the Champions League twice — with Porto and Inter Milan — and eight domestic league titles in his time in Portugal, England, Italy and Spain.
The man who labeled himself a "special one" when introducing himself to English soccer at Chelsea in 2004 said guiding United to a second-place finish in the Premier League last season, 19 points behind rival Manchester City, was "one of my greatest achievements in football."
"Do you ask that question to the manager that finished third in the Premier League last season?" Mourinho said. "To the manager that finished fourth? To the manager that finished fifth?"
United visits Burnley on Sunday after losing at Brighton 3-2 and at home against Tottenham 3-0 in its last two games. The loss to Tottenham was the team's biggest home defeat in Mourinho's managerial career.