Mourinho was ‘hours’ away from becoming England boss

Real Madrid boss reveals he seriously considered suceeding Steve McClaren as England manager in 2007

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles
jose mourinho
Jose Mourinho left Chelsea in September 2007 Photo: Steindy

jose mourinho

Jose Mourinho has revealed he almost succeeded Steve McClaren as England manager before having a change of heart.

The former Chelsea boss, now at Real Madrid, left Stamford Bridge in September 2007 and had the opportunity to take charge of England two months later when McClaren was dismissed as head coach of the national side.

But Mourinho, who opted to take the reigns at Inter Milan when approached in June 2008, explained that he wanted to remain in club management despite seriously considering the Football Association’s offer.

“I was hours away – I almost signed up for the England national team,” said Mourinho, speaking in an interview with French sports daily L’Equipe.

“But at the last minute I began thinking, ‘I am 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.

“So 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. That was Inter.”

Mourinho revealed he enjoyed the first couple of months away from football after leaving Chelsea, but it was not long before he became fed up by his absence from the touchline.

“When I left Chelsea, the first month was fantastic. I went to Africa, to Japan, I did tons of things I had not been able to do,” he added.

“The second month was also good, but from the third onwards it was horrible, just awful.”

An FA spokesman insisted current boss Fabio Capello was always their first choice. “Fabio was our first choice for England manager,” a spokesman said. “We have made that clear from the outset.”

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