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Jose Mourinho reflects on his Chelsea past, present, and future ahead of Sunday's return to Stamford Bridge

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On belonging to each others' histories; on mutual agreements and sackings; on the undesired possibility of a Chelsea "trilogy"

Jose Mourinho's coming home. But not as a friend. Certainly not once the whistle blows and the match gets underway. At that point, much like way-too-nice-for-football Juan Mata, he will be the enemy.

And we must vanquish our enemies.

Obviously, this match will be massive and the build-up to it has been oversized as well. In this 25-minute interview (25!) with Sky Sports, Mourinho addresses a range of topics ahead of his return. You should watch the whole thing (brace for whatever Jose feels you might have bubbling up to the surface) — Mourinho's always a fascinating man to watch and listen to, even when he gives mostly non-controversial common sense answers.

Here are a few choice quotes.

On getting sacked (subtitle: fans vs. Abramovich?)...

"To be sacked is football. Many of the best managers have had their moment to be sacked. Of course there are exceptions, but in modern football especially, it can happen to anyone. If it was a club where I gave nothing, I think it would have been more difficult."

"When I leave a club when in two different periods I gave titles and gave the fans some of the best moments that they have had then you leave with the feeling 'I have done my job'."

"I don't think they want to, but even if they want to, they couldn't delete me from Chelsea history. They belong to my history too. No bad feelings. The owner, he decided to sack me, the fans, they have no power. They show day by day, match after match, that they wanted me, but in this profile of club, the fans have no power."

"In some clubs, especially in some Latin countries, the format of the club, the fans have real power on the board and with the president and owners, but here they have no power so Mr Abramovich decided to sack me, but I left with not one bad word about anyone or anybody at the club."

On "mutual agreement" or not...

"Mr. Abramovich decided to sack me. It was not mutual consent. But I left without a bad word about anything or anyone at the club. That was in my first period at Chelsea when I agreed it was time to change."

"I was keen to change, more than ready to go to other countries but this time it was not like that. It was a decision by the owner and I was informed of that decision. I accepted it in a polite way and we signed the papers. I did it in a calm, respectful way."

On the fans' expected reaction...

"I don't expect a negative reaction, even going with a United badge and going to fight for points. There is no reason for a bad reaction. If they give me a good reception, I don't know. I'm not their manager anymore. I represent a rival club."

"It doesn't matter their reaction. I'll be grateful always. We started so many happy moments, historical moments for the club. When people talked about me being sacked, they always sung my name. I could walk home from games and never had a bad word said to me."

"When the game starts, I'm going to forget it, the fans will forget it. They'll focus on the match."


There's even a bit of tactical talk, plus talk of playing down a potential third Chelsea stint and hoping to stay United manager for a long while, etc, etc, etc. Good intentions and all that; familiar rhetoric.

Good luck to him, just not on Sunday.