José Mário dos Santos Mourinho Félix, probably the less-liked but certainly the most renowned football coach of the recent years, has signed a contract extension with his current club Real Madrid, in a club’s bid to keep him at Santiago Bernabéu until 2016.
An odd move, considering some of the most fervent Real Madrid fans were not keen on keeping him just a few weeks ago, when they feared archenemies FC Barcelona could take the ‘La Liga’ title from them.
Mourinho’s initial contract with the Spanish club was for four years and was to expire on 2014. Although the monetary details of the new deal have not been officially disclosed, sensationalist tabloid The Sun reports the Portuguese coach will earn £250,000.00 a week. However, Sid Lowe (The Guardian) considers the money is not the most important thing about this new deal: Mourinho was already the world’s best-paid coach and the new deal is more about symbolism and authority than money. This is a public declaration of contentment and commitment. Despite some moments of doubt, Mourinho has the backing of the board, the president Florentino Pérez and the director general José Angel Sánchez.
José Mourinho led Madrid to the ‘Copa del Rey’ trophy in his first season in charge and in the campaign just completed he guided the club to their first ‘La Liga’ title since 2008. Nevertheless, fans are not satisfied with the team’s performance in UEFA Champions League where they were beaten by runner-up Bayern München.
To Mourinho’s reckoning, not winning the Champions League has a bright side:
I’m sure Real Madrid gained many supporters throughout the world this year because we played the best football in the world despite not winning the Champions League.
But we did win the toughest league title with fantastic football, and I think that’s what’s most important. We have to keep it up: José Mourinho.
‘The Special One’ (as Mourinho is nicknamed) was awarded the FIFA™ Ballon d’Or for best coach in 2010; his career has been successful despite the fact he was never a flourishing professional footballer. He is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, French, English and Catalan.
May 22nd, 2012.