New Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has revealed that Chelsea boss—and former Barcelona colleague—Jose Mourinho was one of the first to congratulate him on his appointment, the Special One admitting he was jealous of the new Old Trafford manager's impressive CV.
Paul Collins of the Mail Online noted Mourinho's immediate contact, with Netherlands coach Van Gaal revealing:
Mourinho congratulated me. He was the first one I texted and he was the first one to text me back. He said he was jealous of my list of clubs.
I didn't call Manchester United, I didn't call Bayern Munich, they've always called me. And I'm proud of that.
On Monday, Mourinho was asked by the press about his thoughts on Van Gaal joining him in English football and the Portuguese manager gave a glowing endorsement of his former boss.
David Kent of the Mail Online quoted Mourinho saying:
"He is a great football manager and I am happy he joins me in the same country and the Premier League. But more important than that, he's a great guy, a great man and I wish him good."
Mourinho was part of Van Gaal's managerial team in 1997 during the Dutchman's time at the Camp Nou in Barcelona.
The two iconic coaches will now lock horns as Van Gaal looks to revive the fortunes of the fallen Manchester giant and leapfrog Chelsea in the top four of the Premier League.
Sam Pilger of FourFourTwo was one of many who took to Twitter to advocate United's appointment of Van Gaal:
With Guardiola, Klopp and Mourinho unavailable, Louis van Gaal is a brilliant appointment by MUFC. One of the great coaches hungry for more— Sam Pilger (@sampilger) May 19, 2014
BBC News sports correspondent Natalie Pirks also tweeted about Van Gaal's arrival at United and how the rivalry between the biggest club in the world and the West London giants is about to get interesting once again:
Old boss Van Gaal spoke warmly about Mourinho when Jose won Football Writer gong this yr. MUFC v CFC just got its groove back as a contest.— Natalie Pirks (@Natpirks) May 19, 2014
The appointment of Van Gaal can be viewed as an admission by Manchester United that they got their strategy wrong 12 months ago when they appointed David Moyes to the Old Trafford hot seat.
Moyes was brought in to give the club a long-term vision of stability, but Van Gaal has been hired to inject United with an immediate foundation for success.
Van Gaal alluded to this when he said, per Collins: "The aim is to bring them (United) back to the No 1 position as soon as possible because that is where they were under Sir Alex Ferguson."
The appointment also reflects how Chelsea and Manchester City have hired managers in recent times, focused on bringing in coaches who can deliver immediate progress.
Van Gaal is a magnificent coach and his belief in youth will be a strong reason why United are attracted to him and his philosophy.
His appointment will come as a relief to a number of United players who underperformed under the Moyes regime and could not hit the heights needed to compete at the top end of the table.
The Dutch coach will give United the focus that Moyes could not.
Who will finish higher in the Premier League next season?
Rather than have a plan that stretched a decade into the future, the club will now once again challenge their rivals on all fronts and spend the next couple of transfer windows bringing in new talent to bolster their ranks.
Mourinho now has a worthy opponent in the Manchester United manager's position and the battle between him and Van Gaal will be a fascinating competition.