Why Mourinho is staying at Real Madrid

Shortly after his team were eliminated from the Champions League on penalties, Jose Mourinho paid a visit to the Bayern Munich dressing room.

He didn't go for an argument, he didn't go to make accusations, he went purely to congratulate each and every player, and to wish them luck for the final.

For all of the stories, both true and false, of Mourinho's behaviour, he is capable of great acts of sportsmanship.

But where does he go from here?

For all the talk of a summer departure, it now seems that Mourinho will stick around in Madrid for at least one more season.

Having briefed a number of journalists earlier in the year, telling them that he was likely to leave, he's now publicly saying quite the opposite.

Defeat at this late stage seems to have only intensified his desire for a record third Champions League title with three different clubs.

But his decision is not motivated by Real Madrid alone.

When you look around Europe, the one job he really, really wants is still taken.

Chelsea are not going to be an option.

It has been reported that overtures were made by Roman Abramovich recently, but strictly on his terms.

If Mourinho were to return to Stamford Bridge, he would do so as an underling, not an overlord. Transfer policy and club policy would be out of his hands, he would serve only as a coach.


Unsurprisingly, the Mourinho camp have chuckled at this and moved on.

Though he was quick to bestow his support on the Blues, describing them as "one of his ribs", it seems highly unlikely that he will return to manage them in the near future.

Liverpool are out of the question as well.

Though he is known to revere the Merseysiders as a club, they are not on his level any more. Manchester City are not an option either, though perhaps they never were. The vote of support that Roberto Mancini has received from Sheikh Mansour appears to have cemented him in place for another season.

But, if Mourinho had taken the job, he would have blacklisted himself for the one he really wants. The poisoned chalice at Old Trafford is the one he really wants.

No other vacancy in Europe can compare.

They have the stadium, the fan base - both domestically and abroad - they have the history, the tradition and, perhaps most importantly, they are likely to be patient as he imposes his will.

Until Sir Alex Ferguson retires, you suspect that the Portuguese supremo will keep his cards close to his chest.

And why not? He is not exactly slumming it at the Bernabeu.

Real were a little unfortunate on Thursday morning (Singapore time). While Bayern spurned a number of excellent first-half chances, Real looked the more solid of the two teams throughout the tie.

Idiosyncratic style

The players are used to his idiosyncratic style, they have adjusted to the tactical requirements he lays down and they are getting better with every year.

It's highly likely that he'll be able to spend again this summer, as he seeks to defend the La Liga title he should wrap up in the next fortnight. Why the hurry to leave?

When Chelsea faced Scunthorpe in the FA Cup in 2005, the minnows might have expected to be all but ignored by the then-English champions.

Instead, they were met at the stadium by Mourinho himself, who took the entire squad on a tour and insisted that their every need was met.

After the game, which Chelsea won 3-1, he presented their manager Brian Laws with the full, and very complimentary, Scunthorpe scouting dossier Andre Villas-Boas had completed for him earlier that week.

Uefa may hate him, Barcelona may hate him and fans of rival clubs around the world may hate him, but Mourinho is not quite as bad as he is often made out.

The sooner he is back in English football, the better.

But we may have to wait a little while longer yet.

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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