Mour­inho hitches fu­ture to Chelsea

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS - By REUTERS in Lon­don

Chelsea man­ager Jose Mour­inho could stick with the English Premier League club for 12 sea­sons de­spite ac­cept­ing his “worst con­tract” in six years.

The Por­tuguese re­joined the Lon­don out­fit, with whom he won league ti­tles in 2005 and 2006, in June af­ter tro­phy-laden years spent in Italy and Spain with In­ter Mi­lan and Real Madrid.

On Mon­day, he took his ti­tle- chas­ing Chelsea side across Lon­don to face Arse­nal, man­aged for the past 17 years by Arsene Wenger, and came away with a lack­lus­ter 0-0 draw.

“Re­al­is­ti­cally, I hope at the end of those four years we sit and an­a­lyze the sit­u­a­tion, and that will be the point where we both — the club and me — are happy to carry on or happy to sep­a­rate,” British me­dia quoted Mour­inho as say­ing of his con­tract on Mon­day.

“But I would like, say, 12 years. I’m 51 next month. I’d say 12 years, and then two to go to a World Cup with a na­tional team. I would pre­fer the Por­tuguese na­tional team. Eng­land sec­ond (choice).”

Mour­inho has never com­pleted four sea­sons with a club in his highly suc­cess­ful ca­reer that has brought seven league cham­pi­onships across Europe and two Cham­pi­ons League ti­tles.

He left Porto af­ter win­ning the Cham­pi­ons League in 2004 to join Chelsea. He left the English side in Septem­ber 2007, the start of his fourth sea­son, fol­low­ing a break­down of re­la­tions with the club and a fall­ing out with bil­lion­aire owner Ro­man Abramovich.

He then joined In­ter in 2008 and lifted five tro­phies be­fore de­part­ing to Spain in 2010 as he ended Barcelona’s run of league cham­pi­onships be­fore de­part­ing in May amid dress­ing room di­vi­sions.

He had been tipped to re­place Alex Fer­gu­son, who stepped down af­ter 26 years at Manch­ester United in May, but Mour­inho plumped for a re­turn to Chelsea, where he re­mains revered for bring­ing the club its first ti­tle in 50 years.

“There were a lot of teams (of­fered to me) who could be suc­cess­ful im­me­di­ately in my hands,” Mour­inho said.

“I had Real Madrid. I left them be­cause I wanted to, not be­cause they wanted me to. I had other clubs in other coun­tries where it would be eas­ier to go and find an easy job im­me­di­ately. “If I was here for fi­nan­cial rea­sons, I wouldn’t be here get­ting a lot less money than I had at Real Madrid, where I had three more years on my con­tract.

“I didn’t come here be­cause the job was easy, or be­cause I had a team ready to at­tack the ti­tle, or be­cause I was com­ing here for the best con­tract of my life. It’s the worst of my last six years. I’m here be­cause I love the club, I love the project. It’s a dif­fer­ent project.”

The project in­volves tight­en­ing a leaky de­fense and find­ing a for­mula to at­tain more goals from his strug­gling strik­ers.

He also needs to help bring through a tal­ented pool of young­sters to re­place an ag­ing gen­er­a­tion which in­cludes John Terry, Ash­ley Cole and Frank Lam­pard.

The Por­tuguese said Chelsea would have a ‘phe­nom­e­nal team’ next sea­son with the ar­rival of some mar­quee sign­ings to go along with his devel­op­ment of the cur­rent crop — if he is pro­vided time.

Abramovich em­ployed seven per­ma­nent or in­terim man­agers in be­tween Mour­inho’s two spells in charge.

“The best way to ( run a club) is to do it with sta­bil­ity. For the play­ers, if you want to help them grow up, you do that much bet­ter with sta­bil­ity,” Mour­inho said.

AN­DREW WIN­NING / REUTERS

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