Jose Mourinho has revealed he turned down an opportunity to leave Chelsea after their FA Cup final victory over Manchester United last year and admits he regrets deciding not to accept the offer after his relationship with the London club broke down just a few months later.
Mourinho, now the manager of Inter Milan, spent last season on the sidelines after leaving Stamford Bridge by mutual consent in September - just four months after choosing not to turn his back on the Premier League club.
Now the 45-year-old admits he wishes he had chosen to take up the opportunity to leave the Blues after their 1-0 win over the Red Devils at Wembley in May 2007 as he could have left the club on a high.
Speaking in a video released by Ford's FeelFootball.com, Mourinho said: "If there is a moment in my career where I regret a decision it was clearly the day after the FA Cup final - when my agent told me 'Club X' want you tomorrow and I told him no, I love it here and I don't want to go, I want to stay.
"That's the moment I regret. After that day, after that final, I should (have left) Chelsea and I would have the chance in Wembley to say goodbye to the fans and to say goodbye to English football. So that's a moment I regret because the next season lasted only a couple of months."
Mourinho led Chelsea to their first league title in 50 years in 2005 and built a strong rapport with the fans during three seasons at the club.
The Portuguese retained the Premier League crown in 2006 and he secured two League Cup trophies before winning his last piece of silverware with their FA Cup victory last year.
His relationship with Chelsea broke down last year and he left Stamford Bridge in mid-September 2007 but Mourinho has declared his "love" for the club.
He told Ford's FeelFootball.com: "I only have friends in Chelsea and I have problems with nobody - but if I stayed there one, two, three, four more weeks probably in this moment I wouldn't say this.
"I love that club, I'm in the history of that club and I left the club in the right moment to feel like that and to say that honestly.
"So it was the right moment to do it. But clearly if I regret one decision in my career it's that decision of staying in Chelsea not one more season, staying in Chelsea a few more months."