Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho humbled by Football Writers' Association Tribute Award

Mourinho was the guest of honour at the award ceremony just hours after masterminding the 3-1 defeat of Manchester United

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho paid an emotional tribute to the support of those who had helped him reach the pinnacle of the game as he accepted the Football Writers' Association Tribute Award at a gala dinner in London.

The Portuguese coach was the guest of honour at the Savoy Hotel just a few hours after watching his side beat Manchester United 3-1 at Stamford Bridge to move to within two points of Barclays Premier League leaders Arsenal.

Mourinho, 50, had a major impact during his first spell in England, when he guided the Blues to the championship in 2005 and 2006, and went on to repeat his success with spells at Inter Milan, where he won the Champions League for a second time, and Real Madrid before returning for a second spell at Stamford Bridge this summer.

"Without love and happiness, I could not do my job," said Mourinho, who was accompanied to the gala dinner by his wife and children, with son Jose a promising goalkeeper.

"My assistant (coaches) are like my brothers, Frank (Lampard) represents my players, without whom I have no career, and Mr (Louis) van Gaal, Mr (Bobby) Robson, my bosses."

Mourinho believes a settled family life in England has helped him refocus for the challenges ahead.

He continued: "The best thing football gave me was to make a decision about my future.

"Some managers go where they have to go, where the club comes, and sometimes it is not the best move, not what they want to do, but they go.

"I sat down with my wife and family, and said 'where is the best place for us? Where can we be happier as a family? To be happy as a manager and enjoy more the family and life socially?'

"We decided England, after that, for the situation to be perfect it would be Chelsea and I was lucky because the door was open for me."

Mourinho would love to continue his career at Chelsea for 'many, many years' yet, and indicated he had no intentions of ever leaving the Premier League.

He added: "The principles you have in relation to football and life are absolutely amazing.

"I love this Chelsea Football Club, which has been the only club to have ever sacked me, we as a family belong to you (in) England.

"I belong to Chelsea, Chelsea belongs to me, and hopefully we will stay for many, many years."

Mourinho joked: "It is not a threat, but if you sack me, I will stay in England and go to another club, a possible rival."

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard paid his own tribute to the Portuguese coach, with England manager Roy Hodgson among the many guests from the football world to attend at the Savoy.

He said: "There has never been any special over confidence or arrogance from him.

"He made us all feel like we could be champions.

"For me, the main thing about the manager is on the pitch and also the mental stuff around that.

"He found the perfect way to deal with every individual in his squad, and still does today."

 

PA

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