Where will the “Special” or newly self christened “Only One” be coaching next season? Many in Madrid believe they can convince the Portuguese coach to remain at what they consider to be the World’s greatest club. However, the evidence would appear to be piling up to a move away and the destination may be very familiar one to all involved in his entourage.
Reports are emerging that Jorge Mendes, the coaches agent, had a dinner meeting with his client and Roman Abramovich recently at the super agents Madrid residence.
Further fuel has been added to the fire with the news tonight reported on Punto Pelota (a renowned late night sports debate show). According to show reporter Irene Junquera, Mourinho attended a coaching seminar this week with 54 other aspiring coaches.
The Madrid 1st team coach was there to inspire the students, but inevitably they had questions outside of the coaching remit. Many asked him about his time in the Spanish capital, but the big question was would he return and what he could pass on them next year?
The Portuguese coach’s response will add credence to the reports of his move back to London as he replied that it would be difficult for him to teach them anything the following year as he would no longer be there to help them.
Many have speculated as to Mourinho’s choice in the summer. Some believed he would return the faith that Club President Florentino Pérez had placed in him and throw his weight behind the election campaign for re-election.
However, it would appear that his mind is not for changing and he will return to the club that he had returned to the pinnacle of the English game.
How will the speculation affect Madrid with the dream of a tenth European Champions title very much still alive and the prospect of a Copa del Rey Final against their city rivals Atlético Madrid to come at their own stadium?
No one can deny Mourinho’s professionalism, but will his players, many of whom are in revolt against him, throw their weight behind a captain who has already, allegedly, made a decision to abandon his ship?
The man himself relies on a divide and conquer strategy not only with the media, but also his own squad of players, which has led to much controversy involving club legend and number one choice goalkeeper for Spain, Iker Casillas. Another who had his feathers ruffled was Sergio Ramos, Madrid’s second club captain, who seemed to be relying more on reputation than ability.
Other Spaniards haven’t exactly toed the party line and may well follow a coach who has inspired them with his ability to tackle Barça’s dominance domestically and return Madrid to their former glories in Europe with three semi-final appearances in a row in the Champions League (after years of failure and embarrassment) and dreams of an unprecedented tenth continental crown.
The latest reports may well have led to Spain’s national number one resting easier in his bed tonight, but with Diego López having taken his place and impressing during his opportunity, will San Iker find it easy to get back into the Madrid first team?
Love him, or loathe him, Mourinho has revived a dressing room that seemed happy to sit on its laurels. Too many had become complacent and seemed resigned to the dominance of the club’s eternal rivals F.C. Barcelona.