Jose Mourinho threatened to walk to Old Trafford if Manchester’s traffic problems continued so we’ve mapped out just how long that would take him.
The Manchester United manager could walk from his Lowry Hotel home to Old Trafford in a little over 50 minutes and you can see his route below.
Avoiding the busy city centre, the 2.5 mile route along the River Irwell would take in such famous Manchester sights as the People’s History Museum, Media City and Victoria Warehouse.
His route would finish up at Hotel Football which the club’s owners have so far refused to make use of for Champions League ties despite being next door to the stadium.
Ahead of tonight’s game against Young Boys, the club have again opted to stay at the Hilton Garden Inn 1km away and will hope they make it in time for the 8pm kick-off.
Speaking at last night’s press conference, Mourinho said: “We changed hotel, so we are not coming from Manchester city centre.
“We are going to stay in hotel just a few metres away and the information I have from the club and the club contacts with the police is that things are going to be much better than the last time. If it isn’t better, I walk!”
The Portuguese manager got to the hotel this morning before his team arrived on the coach at midday with Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Marouane Fellaini among those who made their own way.
Manchester United players and fans know their journey to the ground will take much longer than expected but compared to the visiting Swiss fans, they had it easy.
MM spoke to some fans from Bern who drove 14 hours overnight from the Swiss capital for one of the biggest games of their season.
Adrian Lerch and Sandro Laubscher drove over 1,000km to see the Swiss national champions take on the mighty Manchester United, Adrian telling MM: “It’s really special, but it’s special for us because we played against Liverpool once and a lot of great football clubs.
“But Manchester, that’s another league.”
Talking of football pilgrimages, at Euro 2012 Italian coach Cesare Prandelli walked 21kms through the night to a monastery after his side beat Ireland to reach the quarter-finals, the Azzurri eventually losing in the final to Spain.
United’s evening fixtures have caused chaos in the city in recent months and GMP had asked people to try and work from home today if possible.
A combination of roadworks, the usual 70,000+ home fans and a 3,000 strong contingent of away fans are expected to cause even more problems in town tonight.
Initially staying at Mourinho’s home at the Lowry before the Valencia match in October, they were fined over £13,000 by UEFA for arriving just 45 minutes before kick-off.
They then switched camp to the Hilton Garden Inn before playing Juventus but the 1km journey still took almost an hour for the players’ coach, with Mourinho getting out and walking to the ground on foot.
They gained just one point from both games so will be aiming for a better result on the pitch tonight against Young Boys and a smoother journey off of it.