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Mourinho on Cristiano rumors, Talisca rumors, Chelsea future, Real past, Man United job, Champions League, and much more...

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Bits and pieces of a massive interview with Portuguese outlets TVI (television) and Maisfutebol (print) are slowly making their way over to England. Here's the whole thing instead.

Mike Hewitt

Various headlines from this massive interview are already popping up this morning, relating mostly to the Cristiano Ronaldo rumors (and relationship), about his time in general at Real Madrid, etc.  Some are citing the source as TV 1 in Portugal, while in fact the interview was conducted by TVI (I for independent), though apparently it was done in England.  You can watch a 15-minute segment in Portuguese by clicking here.

Meanwhile, Maisfutebol issue #222 has published what I'm presuming to be the full text of the interview.  Surprisingly, this is free to read.

Maisfutbol #222 Mourinho

Along with a quick summary, I'm just going to highlight a few quotes from each section that I found most interesting.  If you arm yourself with Google Translate, there are plenty more words in there to read.



"I am a happy man, that is. In my journey through different countries and clubs never hid that England was special to me. I like living here, and could, with this return to Chelsea, joining business with pleasure, it's like everything around me. The club, the league, people, emotions, the city. I'm happy, yes, and I'm quiet."

When posed the question of whether he's in it for the long haul or not, Mourinho answers "at least it is the only stage where I'm not thinking about the next."  He also talks about the tough decisions of letting the Lampards, A.Coles, and Essiens go and says that the only way to survive in England now is to build a team to be a champion and then maybe you can finish in the Top 4.

"In this new English championship, if you want to finish in the top-four and secure a position in the Champions League, you have to think about being champion. If you think the top-4 end up in the top-8 and not you play Champions the following season. Have to think on being champion, and even then, at least one of those who think this way ends up outside."


He's reluctant to talk about Real and whatever little he says has already been twisted (for example).  What he actually said was that, no, he has no regrets about going to Real, and yes, if he could go back, he'd do it all over again.

"...if I could go back today, had gone to Real Madrid? Yes. Clearly, yes. It was an experience as a coach and as a man, I would again repeat, without thinking twice."

As far as Cristiano, and this is the other big bit that's already being reported in many circles as pouring cold water on the already cold rumors about Chelsea and the current holder of the Ballon d'Or, Mourinho says that the relationship is non-existant, but he wishes the player luck at both club and especially at the national team level.

"What relationship? More important than the relationship is the memory, because the relationship does not exist. He plays for Real Madrid, I'm Chelsea manager not met on the street. The relationship, no. The recollection, yes. And I keep remembering - always try to do that - is not so good and the less good. And I recall a young man who was a machine of goals that helped me - a lot! - To win a championship, the UEFA Cup and Supercup at Real. I probably also helped him, we helped us all mutually to make history, winning the championship of 100 points, compared to the larger history of Barcelona. Cristiano, as a player, keep the best memories, and obviously we wish him the best in his career. More in [the national team] than the club, of course, but also at the club, because when I leave a club, hang out with taste and sense of belonging to my former players continue to succeed."


Paulo Bento was dismissed earlier this month, but Mourinho has denied any interest in taking over.  He does go at some length about what he thinks needs to happen in light of recent failures at major tournaments.  There's an interesting comparison made between the squads of Brazil and Portugal that met in the final of the 2011 U-20 World Cup.  Several of that Brazil side are household names today (Coutinho, Casemiro, Alex Sandro, Juan Jesus, our very own Oscar, etc) -- and that's before you consider that the likes of Neymar were already in the senior team at that point -- while most of the Portuguese have disappeared into relative anonymity.  Apparently Jose and Oscar had been talking about this recently.


Having been drawn against Portuguese opposition for the first time since 2007, Mourinho's relishing the prospect of getting to go "home" to play some football.  Conversation then turns to our pals Benfica and Jorge Jesus, who apparently has been trading some barbs with Mourinho in the Portuguese media.  Alexandre Dumas is involved somehow as is the prospect Anderson Talisca.  A few days ago, the Daily Mail reported that we had interest in Talisca but had no chance of signing him due to work permit regulations.  Apparently Benfica got a bit upset at this or some such.  Who knows; they've always been a bit whiny.  Mourinho does confirm our prior interest however.

"Chelsea followed, since 2012, two players: the Talisca and Mario Pasalic, which is currently on loan at Elche. Like us, Benfica and sure many others, because at the moment there are no secrets in football. Benfica have at least one observer of great ability, who I know well - and have more. And then there's a direction that could hire an excellent player. Great for Benfica for the Portuguese football and the boy, who was for a giant club and a fantastic city. For me, any kind of problem, just did not like that a professional colleague doubted my words. But okay: that is happy and having much luck."


None of this is particularly new.  He reiterates his surprise at being able to sign Cesc (ahead of the player staying at Barcelona or going to Arsenal), but says that now that he and Diego Costa are here, it's time to "play to win the championship, otherwise things go wrong."

As far as not winning any trophies last season... well, it certainly hasn't dented the self-belief and the self-confidence.

"Atypical is win seven consecutive championships. Win two in Portugal, two in England, two in Italy and then in Spain, did not win the first but winning the second. This is what is atypical. Over the past two years, my worst seasons ever, will the two semi-finals of the Champions, a final of the King Cup, won the Supercup against Barcelona in Spain end up in second and third in England. These are my two dramatic years, so it's my fault."

He claims there isn't any extra pressure this year because he always puts the same tremendous amount of pressure on himself to win and keep winning.


Most of the same stuff we heard last year is here, about how English teams have it harder in Europe because the league is more competitive, there is no break, and the schedule-makers do no favors to teams involved in midweek competitions.  He says he loves it, but it does get tiring for coach and players both.  Special shout out to conditioning coach and assistant Rui Faria here.

As far as the United job:

" first choice was always to train the Chelsea, and my friends knew it . Sir Alex, as my friend also knew. That he gave me the honor of knowing by himself that would end his career, a couple of months before the public, trusting me perhaps the most important information of your career. My goal, then, was always to return to Chelsea, and this time the plans for the future are all in Chelsea. Obviously that is dictating the results, and if one day Mister Abramovich decide which is my time to leave, obviously I go out. But I had decided a long time back, and found the exact time to do so."

He wishes good luck to Van Gaal, but he does cheekily point out that the Dutchman's job is now easier than the task faced by Moyes, with Di Maria, Falcao, Blind, etc. coming in as reinforcements.  He also confirms that Van Gaal was all set for Spurs before United came knocking.


Further praise towards Rui Faria, Silvino, and other friends.  Talks a bit about Pep Guardiola and Wenger, but it's all a bit inconsequential.  Jose does relate that there is much more knowledge that's common nowadays at the top level of the game, and I'm guessing he means this in a technical, coaching methodology, fitness, nutrition science sort of way.

The five cornerstones of football management are:  quality training, game plan, communication, group management, and luck.  What's most important?  LUCK.  And he laughs.


As we know, Financial Fair Play benefits the already rich as owners cannot pump money into teams without impunity anymore.  Though he seem to call for harsher punishments, shrugging his shoulders at the tepid squad size restrictions placed on PSG and Manchester City.