Jose Mourinho looks increasingly likely to be the next Galactico boss as the Inter manager has refused to commit his future to the treble chasers.
In roughly 10 days from now, Inter can be sitting on the pinnacle of footballing glory—the Holy Treble—but may be forced to bid goodbye to the architect of their success. Jose Mourinho's contribution to the Nerazzurri's success may be overrated at times but his guiding role at the helm of the team is undeniable.
The Portuguese tactician is visibly dissatisfied with life in Italy with the press and the Italian footballing community largely unimpressed by his outspoken nature. Mourinho might have been welcomed with open arms when he arrived in Milan two seasons ago, but now he is on the verge of being driven away.
It would not be surprising in the slightest if Mourinho chooses to leave Italy after winning the treble, a feat that no Italian team has achieved before. He will likely compare himself to Jesus and how his castigation will awaken those that derided him, he will boast of leading Inter to its first European Cup in ages, but what next?
If media reports are to be believed, Mourinho is set to take over at Real Madrid, a club who should end the season trophy-less despite investing in excess of $250 million last year. The expectation with which Mourinho will arrive at Real will be akin to nothing we have seen before, a situation the Portuguese will thrive on.
The question which begs to be asked is not if Mourinho can succeed, he is a natural winner, but whether he will find the satisfaction he so desires. Italy has made him a bitter man and Real Madrid might well prove to be another stumbling block in the legacy he wishes to leave behind.
Madrid's real motive
The motive behind Real’s desperate chase (or so the media will have us think) of Mourinho is clear to all. Florentino Perez wants nothing less than to topple Barcelona off their perch and watching Mourinho do it to the Catalans in their own backyard would have him lusting for the Portuguese like never before.
Perez’s plans for Los Blancos have failed spectacularly, a pain made easier by the fact that Barca won’t be walking into the Santiago Bernabeu to defend their Champions League title. Real’s European prestige has been whipped out of shape as the nine-time champions have failed to make it beyond the last 16 for the past six years now.
The situation at Inter was remarkably similar when Mourinho joined the Nerazzurri. But after last year’s disappointing exit at the hands of Manchester United, Inter are a radically different beast this term. This factor is only likely to entice Perez even more towards the ex-Chelsea coach.
The Special One’s fierce history with Barcelona will be yet another factor which draws him and Real closer together. El Traductor has had the last laugh against the Blaugrana on many occasions and Perez will hope he can establish this dominance in the La Liga as well.
Mourinho’s personal desire to win titles in England, Italy, and Spain can only be granted if he steps up at Real as a few weeks ago he ruled out coaching Barcelona due to his animosity with the Cules. All this seems to indicate that a Mou-Madrid unison is one made in heaven.
In chase of legacy
Mourinho is a straightforward man, he knows what he wants to achieve in his managerial career and he is willing to go through all means to do it. Yet the legacy he desperately craves to create may well prove to be his eventual downfall.
Real Madrid is another short-term option for the Portuguese as the footballing philosophies of the club are far from the ones he employs. Gratification and a fuller trophy cabinet are the only things that Perez and Mourinho seek and this rather coarse pursuit is what unites them.
The Perez dynasty fell apart as gloriously as it started and for purists the Galacticos stand for everything that has ruined modern-day football. A similar case can be made against Mourinho as until he settles down at one club he is unlikely to command the kind of respect the likes of Clough and Ferguson have.
Inter is surely not the right place for him as apart from the Nerazzurri, the rest of Italy wants him out. But Spain may not be such a smart option either, as Real Madrid is a known graveyard for the world’s best managing brains. If there is one club that could prove to be a bridge too far for Mou this is it.
Mourinho is a man whose genius is probably unrivalled in today’s world of football but it is his character that will define whether he will be remembered fondly or whether he will be dark knight whose achievements are clouded by his personal choices.