In his new book, Prepare to Lose: the Mourinho Era, Diego Torres, a sport journalist for the popular El Pais newspaper, claims that the current Chelsea manager was so certain to be the man Sir Alex Ferguson would choose to replace him that he broke down in tears when he was told he had been overlooked.
“Mourinho … thought that Ferguson was, besides his ally, also his friend and godfather. He was convinced that they were tied by a relationship of genuine trust. He thought that his fabulous collection of titles constituted an ‘endorsement’ unreachable to any other contenders. When he knew that Ferguson had elected Moyes, the Everton coach, he was struck by a terrible disbelief. Moyes hadn’t won absolutely anything!”
The book claims that as soon as Mourinho realised something had gone wrong, he rang his agent, Jorge Mendes.
“Mourinho wouldn’t stop calling them [their agents]. His ‘interlocutors’ had heard him sob loudly and they were spreading the word. The most feared man in the company was crushed.”
Torres’s claims have been denied by Mourinho’s agent, but the book makes for some interesting reading.
“He was tormented by the memory of an interview of Sir Bobby Charlton in the Guardian in December. His judgments gave him a big uncertainty. ‘A United coach wouldn’t do what he did to Tito Vilanova’, stated Charlton, evoking the finger in the eye, when asked if he saw Mourinho as a successor for Ferguson. In regards to the admiration that Ferguson professed towards him, the veteran footballer implied that it was a fable: ‘He doesn’t like him that much’.
“In the morning he called Mendes so that he urgently got in touch with United. Until the end, he wanted his agent to pressure the English club as an attempt to block any operation. It was an act of desperation. They both knew that Mendes had put Mourinho in the market a year earlier.”
According to the book, “Mendes had already been told in the autumn of 2012 that Ferguson’s first option was Pep Guardiola. He had been explained the reasons.
“Mourinho felt betrayed by Ferguson and feared that someone might stop taking him seriously. For years, the propaganda machine acting at his services had divulged the idea of a friendship that now was revealed as a fantasy image. To give coherence to the facts in the public light, Gestifute’s advisers advised him to say that he already knew because Ferguson had called him to inform him.
“On the 9th of May, someone from Gestifute [the company owned by Mourinho's agent] got in touch with Record newspaper to say that Ferguson offered his crown to Mourinho four months ago, but that he refused it because his wife preferred to live in London, and that was why he ended up choosing Chelsea. At the same time, Mourinho offered an interview to Sky in which he declared that Ferguson kept him in the loop about his decisions, but that he never made him the offer because he knew perfectly well that he wanted to coach Chelsea. The contradictions were not planned.”
After he took on the Chelsea job for the second time, at his unveiling Mourinho said: “I knew that Ferguson was retiring many months ago, would have turned down every job in the world – the Manchester United job, every one – for Chelsea.”
Fiction? Truth? Both?
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Tags: Manchester United News