Chelsea excitedly welcomed back fan favourite Jose Mourinho, their ‘Special One’, as manager for the second time on a four-year contract on Monday.
The Portuguese, who left Real Madrid last weekend, won the 2005 and 2006 Premier League titles in his first spell with the west London club but departed in 2007 after falling out with billionaire owner Roman Abramovi-ch. “I am delighted to welcome Jose back to Chelsea. His continued success, drive and ambition made him the outstanding candidate,” said chief executive Ron Gourlay in a club statement.
“It is our aim to keep the club moving forward to achieve greater success in the future and Jose is our number one choice as we believe he is the right manager to do just that. “He was and remains a hugely popular figure at the club and everyone here looks forward to working with him again.”
Happy to be back
Mourinho grinned broadly as he spoke of his delight at returning to Stamford Bridge. “Now I can say I am one of you,” he told Chelsea TV. “I never hide that in football I have two great passions — Inter Milan and Chelsea — and Chelsea is more than important for me. It was very, very hard to play against Chelsea and I did it only twice," he said referring to the time he led Inter to victory in a 2010 Champions League first knockout round tie. “Now I promise the same things I promised in 2004 with this difference to add - that I am one of you.”
The news of his return was an open secret long before Mourinho told a Spanish TV soccer show on Sunday that he hoped to take charge at Chelsea by the end of the week. “I feel the people there love me and in life you have to look for that," said the 50-year-old, who first joined Chelsea in 2004 and ended their 50-year wait for a top flight title as well as winning the FA Cup in 2007 and the League Cup twice. Life is beautiful and short and you must look for what you think is best for you,” added Mourinho, who has also enjoyed successful spells as coach of Porto and Inter, winning the Champions League with both.
Mourinho will be accompanied by three staff — Rui Faria, Silvino Louro and Jose Morais — as assistant first team coaches working alongside current first team staff Steve Holland, Christophe Lollichon and Chris Jones.
The futures of Spain striker Fernando Torres, already linked in the media to Serie A team Napoli where Benitez is now in charge, and former England captain John Terry will be under closer scrutiny than ever.
The confrontational Portugue-se set the bar high the first time around, becoming the club's most successful manager with a team that never lost any of their 60 home league matches under his guidance.