Why Champions League Success Could Keep Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid
Jose Mourinho's career—we never got to find out at Chelsea—has hinged on being short term.
After a few years in Porto, he was off to Chelsea. A couple of years at Inter, which included a Champions League success, and the Spanish capital was calling.
So it's been no surprise to hear the speculation this season that the Portuguese coach could be heading out the Bernabeu turnstiles at the end of the current campaign.
The fire has been fueled by all the talk of in-fighting. But what if, let's say, that's all largely media hype and rumor? Let's say that, at the very least, recent successes against Barcelona and Manchester United have reunited a flagging squad.
Sergio Ramos' comments in Marca this week suggest harmonies are restored inside the dressing room and that Mou could continue into next season:
If people knew the truth, they would be surprised. It's [his relationship with Jose] quite good despite people always wanting us to be arguing; it's something I don't understand because we're both fighting for the same thing, there is no doubt he has my utmost respect, he is the boss and the one in charge.
[Asked whether his future depends on Mourinho staying or going] Not at all, the ideal coach for Real Madrid this season and for a long time to come is Jose Mourinho.
Having already ground down Josep Guardiola to the point of accelerating his leaving Camp Nou and bringing the La Liga title back to the capital, to add La Decima would ingrain Mourinho into Madrid history even more.
The 50-year-old and his squad would be celebrated as heroes, the men who first toppled Barca and then returned the Holy Grail.
How could he walk away from that?
Of course, if one man could, it's Jose Mourinho. After all, he left Inter on the back of a crowning Champions League campaign—but that was different.
Then he had the lure of Madrid, the caricatured enemy in Barcelona and Guardiola. What does he have if he leaves Los Blancos?
Florentino Perez, the Madrid president, finds himself in a similar position. With Jose at the helm, he has one of the best. The options of Carlo Ancelotti, Michael Laudrup, Joachim Low and Rafa Benitez are all fine, but they are not "The Special One."
Success at Wembley at the end of May could be the perfect antidote for the supposedly feuding Perez, Mourinho, Ramos and Iker Casillas to all say, "You know what? Let's just carry on."
Sir Alex Ferguson recently said that he wouldn't be surprised to see the Portuguese manager stay in Spain (via The Sun). Maybe he thinks—knows?—Mourinho's got an eye on his job and is going to hang around until he retires.
It would make sense for a man who strategically and meticulously plans every step of his career.
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