The Sporting Chameleon

an absolute cheesecake of a sports blog

Mourinho attempting to tick ego-boxes

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REAL MADRID will finally unveil José Mourinho as their new manager on Monday after agreeing compensation with Inter Milan.

Despite Inter being owed £13.5million under the terms of Mourinho’s contract, club president Massimo Moratti settled for a deal worth between £6 and 7million.

Even though Mourinho is probably the best manager of his generation, this deal means Real Madrid have spent considerably less on him than they did on Jonathan Woodgate.

Can someone explain to me the fascination with Real Madrid?

The club has stunted the promising careers of Woodgate, Robinho, Michael Owen, Nicolas Anelka, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Arjen Robben and this season Kaka and Karim Benzema.

Over the past 24 years (the length of time Sir Alex Ferguson has been at Manchester United) Real Madrid have had, including Mourinho, 25 managers, although admittedly not 25 different managers as Leo Beenhakker, John Toshack, Fabio Capello and Vicente del Bosque all had multiple spells in the hotseat.

So incredibly in that time they have made, on average, more than one managerial change every year, with several managers departed after winning the league.

The latest man to be sacked, Manuel Pellegrini, leaves with the best win percentage of any permanent Real manager and missed out on La Liga by just three points to a Barcelona team that a year ago were meant to be the greatest side of all time.

Yet no club in the world seems to get players and managers quite so jolly in their pants.

Why are they falling over themselves to be idolised by fans who were fined by UEFA for racist chanting just five years ago?

Sure Real Madrid have been historically very successful, but so have Huddersfield Town (albeit for a very small window from 1923-1926) and I do not see Mourinho confessing his love of Yorkshire pudding.

One of the big reasons Mourinho has mentioned for his move is the lure of becoming the first manager to win the Champions League/European Cup with three different clubs, after drawing level with Ernst Happel (Feyenoord 1970 and Hamburg 1983) and Ottmar Hitzfeld (Borussia Dortmund 1997 and Bayern Munich 2001) this season on two.

Clarence Seedorf is the only player to achieved three Champions Leagues with three clubs (Ajax 1995, Real Madrid 1998 and AC Milan 2003 and 2007), but no one has ever declared him the greatest player in the world.

What about becoming the first manager to win it in consecutive seasons since Arrigo Sacchi in 1989 and 1990 or the first manager with hair since Brian Clough in 1979 and 1980?

Or win four more with Inter to draw them level with their great city rivals AC?

Another of his stated motivations is becoming the first person – coach or player – to win the English, Italian and Spanish leagues.

But it is not exactly as though people will say when Ferguson retires “You might have won at least two Champions Leagues, 11 Premier Leagues, five FA Cups, four League Cups and a Cup Winner’s Cup, but where’s your La Liga? Where’s your Serie A? You’re an absolute failure, you chewing, Scottish oik.”

Mourinho clearly has quite a peripatetic soul and no one can doubt his talents as a manager.

But how much of a challenge for his talents is managing the most expensively assembled groups of players in the world and trying to win the Champions League and La Liga with the club that has won them more than any other.

This season Ian Holloway got a side promoted from the Championship that had one of the smallest budgets in the division and pre-season were among the favourites to go down.

Mourinho went to Inter after the club won the three previous league titles under the stewardship of Roberto Mancini.

It seems he has his heart and a phat contract set on becoming Real Madrid manager, but after he has had his fun there and won what he has to, how about a real challenge?

What about getting broke Portsmouth back into the Premier League?

Or even better Mourinho could probably afford to buy Stockport County, appoint himself as manager (yes offence Gary Ablett) and achieve three promotions to get them into the Premier League?

Were he to win the Champions League with four different teams and the fourth was Stockport I do not think anyone could have any arguments with him about anything ever.

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