HomeJose Mourinho: I rejected England job in 2007

Jose Mourinho: I rejected England job in 2007

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Jose Mourinho has claimed he turned down the chance to manage England ahead of Fabio Capello becoming Three Lions boss in 2007.

Mourinho has been linked with the England job on numerous occasions since first arriving in the Premier League to manage Chelsea in 2004.

Mourinho’s first Blues departure in September 2007 came just two months before England parted ways with Steve McLaren after failing to qualify for Euro 2008.

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The ‘Special One’ was immediately installed as one of the favourites to succeed him as the Football Association sought a big-name appointment, and he has now claimed he had an offer on the table.

Appearing on Rio Ferdinand’s Vibe with Five podcast, Mourinho said of the England job: “I could have been the coach of the national team. I had it there on the table.”

Asked why he rejected the opportunity, Mourinho said: “Because I always had national team jobs down as something I wouldn’t enjoy. It was in 2007-08 and Mr. Capello got the job.”

 

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Links between Mourinho and the England job have never truly gone away, and he continues to be touted as a possible successor to Gareth Southgate should he leave the role when his contract expires later this year.

Mourinho has nothing but praise for the work Southgate has done with the Three Lions, who he sees as one of the favourites to win Euro 2024 in Germany.

The former Real Madrid and Manchester United boss said: “It is a very good generation. They got to the Euro 2020 final, they can do it.

“The mentality of the guys who have gone abroad, [Jude] Bellingham for example, I believe there is something that separates him from the boys that were born in England, developed in England and are playing in England.

“He can add something different, he is a kid of the world. He has a big, big personality.

“Southgate with Steve Holland, he was my assistant at Chelsea and what a person, they’ve done a beautiful job there, but it’s just missing that little bit.

“I cannot say I wish they do it, because I think Portugal can do it and I wish Portugal do it.”

Mourinho has also turned down other opportunities to move into international management, most recently with his native Portugal.

The 61-year-old is currently out of work after being sacked by Roma last month, and he says leaving the Giallorossi was particularly painful after he rejected several offers from elsewhere.

“It’s the one that hurt me the most,” Mourinho said of his Roma exit. “You can ask me why: I gave them my heart and I gave up some options which were not very clever from a professional point of view.

 

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“I refused great working opportunities. The first one was very hard because it was Portugal. Their best national team ever, three years before the [2026] World Cup.

“Then I had a big one from Saudi Arabia. I didn’t hide it at the time because it was really big.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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