Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho, widely tipped to take over at Italian giants Inter Milan, on Friday revealed his sensitive side by talking down his difficult and temperamental reputation.
“As a manager I’m a very easy person. It’s very easy to work with me because it’s clear and neat – players must be open and ready to follow me,” the former Chelsea and FC Porto coach told the daily Jornal de Negocios.
In 2004, during a press conference unveiling him as the new Chelsea coach, Mourinho famously called himself ‘The Special One’.
That was a reference to his feats at the Portuguese club who he led to two consecutive league titles (2002-4), a Uefa Cup title in 2003 and a Champions League trophy a year later.
“The story of the ‘special one’ has stuck, and that’s not a bad thing. But I am not at all special. I think of myself as a great football manager, that’s all,” Mourinho said.
“I only have strengths. And when I have a weakness I try to hide it.
“I see myself as a person who is emotionally resilient and capable of adapting to difficult situations, rather than someone who is very intelligent,” said Mourinho.
Mourinho, who has been out of work since he was sacked by Chelsea in September, has been consistently linked with a move to Inter Milan.
That proposed move took a step closer on Thursday after the Milan giants sacked coach Roberto Mancini, reportedly because of comments made after a Champions League game against Liverpool.
Mourinho, who has already said he expects to be back in coaching by the middle of next month, would not be drawn into talk about his future club.
The 45-year-old would only say that his new club “will be a challenge where everyone will say – ‘he has to win’. It’s this level of expectation which feeds and fascinates me.”
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