Jose Mourinho turned down Real Madrid job while at Chelsea

Former Porto boss also turned down chance to manage England

Jose Mourinho may have rejected the chance to take the Real Madrid job during his successful reign at Chelsea, but he could not turn the Spanish giants down for a second time.

The Portuguese made the revelation during a wide-ranging interview with French radio station RMC Sport, also admitting he passed up the chance to manage England in 2007, after Steve McClaren's departure and before Fabio Capello was appointed.

Mourinho arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2004 after winning the Champions League with Porto, and he would quickly claim two Barclays Premier League titles before leaving London.

A year's sabbatical was followed by a two-year stint at Inter Milan, which came to an end with a Serie A, Champions League and Coppa Italia treble before Mourinho accepted the top job at the Bernabeu.

The 49-year-old admitted it had been an emotional wrench to leave the San Siro, but he felt the opportunity to coach in the Spanish capital would not come round a third time.

"I had the opportunity to come here in 2006 or 2007," he told RMC Sport. "I was at Chelsea and I couldn't have said yes at the time.

"When they came back a second time, it was very difficult to say no.

"It was a moment that everyone at Inter understood would be hard for me to refuse. Everyone was crying, but they opened the door for me.

"It was difficult for me too but I wanted to have this experience. There are positive and negative things (about it), like at all clubs.

"I'm glad I came here and, having had the opportunity to win competitions in Spain, I'm glad to have had this experience."

However, Mourinho has been linked with a return to England in the summer as his tenure at the Bernabeu continues to go sour, with Real struggling to close a 15-point gap on league leaders Barcelona amid reports of in-fighting between the outspoken coach, his playing staff and several club directors.

Indeed, a last-16 trip to face Manchester United in the Champions League on March 5 will provide a welcome distraction, after February's first leg in Madrid.

"The La Liga title is impossible now, there is too big a gap," he added. "We have to focus on other goals like the Copa del Rey and the Champions League.

"I know that everyone is waiting for the 10th (Champions League title), but it does no good to obsess over these things, obsession only makes things more complicated.

"Playing in Manchester is fantastic. I've been there to watch and I have a house in England.

"It's a pleasure to have to travel for work. My 'brother' (Sir Alex) Ferguson is a formidable example. At 71 years of age, he came to watch us in Madrid too."

Mourinho could only ever consider leading Portugal should he venture into international management, but he admits England remains his "first love" in the world of football.

The Setubal-born tactician admitted missing out on managing England when McClaren was sacked for failing to qualify for the European Championships in Austria and Switzerland.

"Portugal is my home," he added. "After my experience with Porto I wanted to try something different.

"It was the right time to leave in 2004. I will go back one day but not for a club. (I will go) for the national team, or to go home and retire.

"I would love to be the national team coach one day. I think the Portuguese people are waiting for that to happen.

"I want to experience coaching my country at a World Cup or at the European Championships. I almost did it with England, in 2007 or 2008, but for me the national team is Portugal.

"I can never say never but I think that it would be with Portugal. England is my first love. Well, my wife is my first love but England is my first love from a footballing perspective."


Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific