22nd May, 2012
Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has extended his contract until June 2016 after taking the Spanish giants to victory in La Liga, the team said on Tuesday.
The 49-year-old, who joined Real in May 2010 on a four-year deal, said early in May he had no ambition to coach in new countries. But media reports had continued to speculate on his returning to England, with some linking him to a move back to his former side Chelsea.
“Real Madrid and Jose Mourinho have reached an agreement to extend the latter’s contract with the club until June 30, 2016,” the club said in a statement published online.
The self-appointed “Special One” took Real Madrid to their 32nd league title last month, ending a run of three successive league crowns for bitter rivals Barcelona.That made him only the fourth coach to have won four different league titles after taking the English, Italian and Portuguese crowns, along with Austria’s Ernst Happel, the late Croat Tomislav Ivic and Italian veteran Giovanni Trapattoni.
During his first season at the club, critics said the Portuguese coach’s approach was too aggressive both on the field and in comments at press conferences about rivals and referees.
In one infamous incident in August last year when Barcelona won the domestic Super Cup against Real, a brawl broke out after Marcelo was red carded for a reckless challenge on Cesc Fabregas.
During the melee, Mourinho was shown on public television poking his finger into the eye of Barca assistant coach Tito Vilanova — who has since been promoted to the top to replace departing Pep Guardiola.
Guardiola, 41, announced last month that he was leaving at the end of the season after a four-year rein at Barcelona, saying he felt “drained”.
Asked about the incident at the time, which earned him a two-match ban, Mourinho famously asked journalists at a post-match news conference: “Pito Vilanova? I don’t know who this Pito is.”
Mourinho has been supported through thick and thin by Real president Florentino Perez.
Former Real director general Jorge Valdano had unsuccessfully argued against Mourinho’s appointment, but then found himself out of a job.
In May 2011 Perez terminated the position of director general occupied by Valdano to give Mourinho more autonomy, in what was seen as a victory for the Portuguese coach.
Spanish media reported at the time that Mourinho had demanded that Valdano, a former Argentine international, be dismissed as a condition for his staying on at the club.
Real striker Cristiano Ronaldo praised Mourinho in an interview published Tuesday in Spanish sports daily AS, calling him “the best coach in the world”.
“To continue my career with Mourinho now is just great because it helps me improve and learn more,” he said.
“I don’t wish for anything different than that. It’s great to work with him because, right now, he is the number one manager.”
Mourinho began his hugely successful coaching career with Portuguese side Benfica in 2000.
The foundations of his coaching career were set when he took a job as an interpreter and assistant for the late Sir Bobby Robson in Spain and Portugal.