Mr Mourinho, you described yourself as ‘special’ when you became coach of Chelsea in 2004, and they called you ‘The Special One’.
What do you want to be called now? “Mourinho. I have arrived at a special club, and when a club is like this the coach becomes an extra person. I’m not forgetting that I’m a great coach, but I don’t want to be special. José Mourinho hasn’t changed. He’s the same person with the same ambition, the same motivations, and with a great passion for football. He has always wanted to coach in Italy, possibly at a great club. Inter have given me the opportunity to work in a great footballing nation like Italy. This is a very important challenge for me and I have to thank the managers present here, in particular Marco Branca, for choosing me. It will be fun for you too.”
What did president Moratti ask of you at the start of your new adventure with the Nerazzurri? “The president asked me to be José Mourinho, which means working with great passion, with great empathy with all the fans, the players and the club. We must begin a new cycle. A cycle with a great coach in Roberto Mancini has just ended, but we turn the page now. It’s a new life for the club and all of Inter. I have great respect for the work done by a great coach like Mancini, but I am José Mourinho. I have different methods and a different philosophy. I work with passion and motivation. I have always had strong relationships with the players and I’m sure that after a few weeks we will be able to talk about a strong relationship with my new players. I believe that sporting results are the logical consequence of who works well. I am sure I will work very well. I’m expecting positive results and entertaining football.
I am highly motivated, I’m happy to be in Italy and at a great club like Inter. Like I said, Mourinho is the coach of a special club.”
Do you think it will be necessary to change many elements of the current Inter squad? From what I have read in the press all over the world – not just in Italy and Portugal – it seems as if I have come to coach a team with a squad of 70 players. This isn’t good. I want to work in a team of 20-21 players plus the goalkeepers. I think that every player in the world wants to play for Inter, and that every president wants to sell players to Inter. I like the players in my squad and I don’t need to make radical changes. For myself and the management, the team just needs due or three players to improve and be even more competitive. I want the chance to change things a bit because I don’t know any coach who has the same ideas as another. But I didn’t like what I read about me not liking some of the players in the squad, and that I want to buy all the best players in Europe. This is not true. I have a clear message that I want to transmit to my players. From now on I want to talk about them as my players. I want to tell all of them that I like the squad and I have faith in them. I have seen a lot of Inter’s matches during the season and I appreciated the team’s mentality. It’s hard for me to wait until mid-July to start.”