Realmadrid.com / Translation by Michael J. O'Donnell
Jose Mourinho gave an exclusive interview to the club's official media after signing a contract extension that will keep him at Real Madrid until 2016.
Madridista until 2016. What does that feel like?
I feel happy. I wouldn’t have signed this contract extension otherwise. I would like Madridistas to be happy, not just myself, the President, Jose Angel Sanchez and the Board. They’ve had faith in me and believe I am the ideal coach for the project we have until 2016. I would want Madridismo to be happy about this. I think most of them will be happy with the decision I and the Board have reached. I’ve been talking to the players in the last few months analysing this situation and I profoundly feel the squad in general is happy with this decision. My wife and children, who are key in my decisions, are as well.
What prompted you and the club to extend your contract to 2016?
The overall project; the wish of the President to have a long term project, which is something unusual in today’s football; the confidence he has always had in me and my work; and the special feeling I always said was important when there were rumours about me leaving. I’ve always said that’s very important to me and that I would stay while the fans, the team and the club were happy and confident in with my work. I’ve gotten to know this club and its great qualities better, as well as the small problems it has like any other institution or person. I’m delighted to stay on and plan the sporting future of Real Madrid’s first team, and we know we must obviously focus more on the short-term and talk little about the distant future. That’s what we’ve tried to do in the last couple of years; we work for the future and think about the future. A look at our squad shows we’re thinking about the future, but a club of this dimension needs results and to win, and that’s what we’ve done and will continue to do in the next four years.
Do you feel this has happened because of a job well done?
I think it has happened because of how we all know each other and because of our conviction. I’ve always said this squad is young and that its best years are yet to come. It isn’t a squad with players on the verge of extinction or playing their final years of top tier football. The club, with its incredible social reach and structure, can adapt to the times and to what we’re trying to do. As a manager, I always try to grow and improve. I’ve loved the professional experience I’ve had of working for different clubs in different countries and cultures, and to learn from that while giving my best. I’ve loved that process. It’s different for me now because I’m thinking about a club long-term, and that club is Real Madrid, which has been more demanding and has forced me to do my absolute best due to its difficulties. I’ve had to improve as a coach and a professional. I think it is the perfect challenge for the next four years because you always have to do more when things are hardest. I need these great challenges in the maturity of my career; I need things to force me to be better.
Do you feel happy? Do you feel the club is happy with you, that Director General Jose Angel Sanchez is happy?
We’ve been talking about this for a long time and we never wanted to sign or make it public in a rush. This is an important family, with important players and important supporters. It is a professional challenge to hopefully make all of them happy and I’m ready for it.
What’s the main objective for next season?
At the start of the campaign that’s just finished I told my men I did not want to prioritize. I didn’t want to choose one championship over another. I’ve always said we have to improve collectively and individually, and that we must play football to win both games and supporters. 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. I always say it is hard for those who work seriously and well not to win anything. We won the league title in our second season, just like we had planned, and we’ll see what happens next. But we will not obsess about things because that never helps. The only things we should obsess about are things we are clear on, such as being serious, professional, hardworking and respectful towards Real Madrid’s history, which is most demanding of its professionals. We have a four year project ahead of us and we have to enjoy it.
Are you confident in the squad you have until 2016?
Of course. This is a very young squad and there isn’t a single player who won’t be able to last until 2016, and most of them will reach the year at the peak of their careers. Some will reach it at the end of their footballing days, but none of them will have any problems. It’s normal at this time of the year to see who stays and who goes, and to contact some other players. This is normal in football during the summer, but our squad has been formed. A couple of signings would serve to improve on the team that took 100 points, which is how I believe this Real Madrid side will be remembered. They all deserve our confidence and we will face next season with them.
What will you do now, go on a holiday or continue working?
I’ll work because the responsibilities of my children’s school prevent my wife and I from having a holiday outside Madrid at the moment. I work in the mornings, but I will have 15 days off with my family during which I will disconnect completely from football. I will return to Madrid on 14 July for the tennis match between Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic organised by the Realmadrid Foundation, and I will begin training with those who won’t be in the Euro on 15 July.