Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has said he turned down an offer to become England manager before the appointment of Fabio Capello.
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In an interview with L’Equipe sports newspaper published Monday, Mourinho said he was set to succeed Steve McClaren after leaving Chelsea but changed his mind at the last minute after realizing he would quickly be bored to death.
”I was hours away, I almost signed up for the England national team,” Mourinho said. ”But at the last minute I began thinking: ‘I’m going to coach a national side, there will be one match a month and the rest of the time I will be in my office or overseeing matches. And then to have to wait until the summer to compete in a European Championship or a World Cup?’ No, it wasn’t for me.”
Mourinho spent eight months without a club after he left Chelsea in September 2007. He said he enjoyed the first two months of his unemployment period but then ”it was horrible and awful.”
Mourinho – who then signed with Inter and led the club to two league titles, one Italian Cup and its first European Cup since 1965 – however said it was worth waiting and has no regrets over turning down the England job.
”At the last moment I pulled back, preferring to wait for the right job to come along, a good club, a challenge that could motivate me,” Mourinho said. ”That was Inter.”
Mourinho, who joined Real Madrid during the offseason, also won the Champions League with Porto in 2004.
The Portuguese coach also revealed he was in talks with French club Paris Saint-Germain before joining Inter but felt his future was in more powerful leagues.
”I already said that I didn’t understand how one of the greatest capital cities of the could not have a club of world class. Paris is a unique case. When is the last time they played in the Champions League? In 2004? That’s unbelievable in a town which loves football so much and has so many immigrants, from Portugal and other parts of the world.”