Jose Mourinho says Chelsea squad can contend in Europe 'for a decade'

Jose Mourinho says his current Chelsea squad is a "a team for a decade" but added that history shows winning the Champions League with the Stamford Bridge club is not something that can be taken for granted.

In an exclusive interview with ESPN FC, Mourinho admitted he felt "super happy" when Chelsea won the European Cup in 2012, even though he was Real Madrid manager at the time and still feeling disappointment at being knocked out at the semifinal stage.

"I didn't win with Chelsea but I felt super happy with the title," Mourinho said. "I was not more happy because I lost that semifinal with Real Madrid to Bayern Munich on penalties, when Cristiano [Ronaldo] and Sergio Ramos missed the first and the second penalty.

"In spite of that I was so happy that Chelsea did it because I feel Chelsea in a different way."

Mourinho has won the Champions League with Porto in 2004 and Inter in 2010 but has never moved past the semifinal stage with Chelsea. Looking back, he cites how close the club have come to adding to that solitary title, during his first spell at the club (2004-07) and since.

"When I'm asked about Champions League, I think Chelsea is the best example of what the Champions League is," Mourinho said.

"Chelsea was in a [2007] semifinal and lost the semifinal in penalties. Chelsea was in the [2005] semifinal and lost the semifinal on a goal that was not a goal. Chelsea was in the [2008] final and lost the final because the last player slides and misses the penalty. Chelsea was in the [2009] semifinal and lost the semifinal against Barcelona in one of the biggest scandals in football.

"Chelsea finished fifth in the Premier League and won the Champions League in that [2012] season. This is the Champions League. This is the Champions League."

Though he admits it would be a dream to lift the trophy again, the Portuguese is also content to know he is building a team that can win it, even if he is not in charge.

Mourinho said: "So if you tell me that I'll win it with Chelsea one day, amazing. But if you tell me I'll work at Chelsea for five, six years and when I leave the Champions League comes as a sequence -- I don't say a consequence, I say as a sequence -- of years of work and the team is ready for that, I'm happy. So I say the only thing that we can do is what we are doing -- work well and hard."

Of Chelsea's current squad, only John Terry (34) and Branislav Ivanovic (31) are over 30 years of age. Mourinho likens it to the squad he had during his first time at the club.

"That was a team for a decade. So this team will be a team for a decade," he said. "If the Champions League comes with me, great. If the Champions League comes after me, great the same."

Watch more from ESPN FC's exclusive interview with Jose Mourinho on this website and ESPN FC TV (nightly in the U.S. at 6 p.m. ET on ESPNEWS and WatchESPN). Plus, ESPN FC TV debuts on BT Sport in the UK on Saturday at 8:30 a.m.