Sunday, 23 May 2010

Mourinho aims to make Madrid 'home'

Jose Mourinho made the Santiago Bernabeu feel like home as he led Inter to victory over Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League final.

Jose MourinhoAnd after Saturday night's house-warming party in Madrid the Portuguese coach revealed he is set to move permanently to the Spanish capital.

Real Madrid have long sought a coach to match their lofty ambitions and Mourinho has long been the man in their sights to return European glory to the Bernabeu.

Following their 250million euro outlay last summer, Madrid themselves had hoped to be celebrating a 10th European crown on home soil.

That dream died long ago, but they were the hosts on Saturday night as Mourinho became champion of Europe for a second time and the welcome extended to the Inter coach was for a long-term marriage, not a one-night fling.

After leading Inter to an unprecedented treble of Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League titles, Mourinho said: "It was difficult to leave Chelsea and it will be sad to leave Inter. Inter is my home in the same way Chelsea was my home. But that's life, that's football.

"Now I have two homes, Stamford Bridge and San Siro. And now I will have a third home - probably the Santiago Bernabeu."

Pep Guardiola's Barcelona also secured a treble of league, cup and Champions League last year, before going on to win the Spanish and European Supercups and the FIFA World Club Cup to bag a record six titles in 2009.

It was thought that Mourinho, who has collected trophies for fun in his eight years with Porto, Chelsea and Inter, may look to emulate Guardiola and win all six for the Italian side.

But the Portuguese was scathing and dismissive of the other three titles on offer in the next six months ahead of the final on Friday and, having won the important three, he clearly feels now is the time to coach Madrid.

"If you don't coach Real Madrid then you always have a gap in your career," he said. "Only Real are interested in me but I haven't spoken with anyone and I haven't signed anything. I promised I'd speak after the final."

Mourinho flew back to Milan to celebrate Saturday night's triumph with his players, but Inter owner Massimo Moratti stayed behind in Madrid, probably to thrash out a deal with Real President Florentino Perez.

Mourinho said he would talk to Perez this week.

"The day after tomorrow (I will speak to him)," he said on Saturday night. "I don't know the project yet, so I have to hear the project. Real is an enormous club, a club that wants the same as me; I want to win, I want to feel important, I want to keep winning."

Mourinho, meanwhile, believes he is leaving Inter in safe hands.

"The important thing for Inter is that (club President Massimo) Moratti and (captain Javier) Zanetti stay," he said.

Zanetti, making his 700th appearance for Inter, became the first Argentinian to lift a European Cup as captain.

The 36-year-old, although euphoric at Inter's success, revealed he will be sad to see Mourinho leave.

"I am really sad that Mourinho has decided to leave, but this is his choice," said Zanetti. "We must respect his decision, and unfortunately we are saying goodbye to a great coach and a great man."

Source: Press Association Sport

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