Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Mourinho Takes charge at Inter, Insisting Chelsea Stars want to Work with Him Again

APPIANO GENTILE, Italy: Jose Mourinho believes his former Chelsea players want to join him at Inter Milan.

"I think it is normal ... that almost all of them want to work with me in the future," Mourinho said Tuesday after being officially unveiled at Inter's training ground north of Milan. "These rumors are normal."

The Serie A champion's new coach would have to renew hostilities with his former boss Roman Abramovich to lure the likes of Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard from the London club.

Any moves in the transfer market will depend on "if Chelsea wants to sell," said Mourinho, who agreed a three-year contract Monday to replace Robert Mancini.

Mourinho was keen to downplay his self-styled "Special One" nickname.

Today in Sports
Mosley wins vote of confidence to stay as FIA presidentSafina stands her ground against Sharapova in ParisAt Euro 2008, an injured list already
"I believe I have arrived at a special club, and when the club is special, a coach becomes one of many," Mourinho said. "I never forget that I am a great coach but I don't want to be special."

The 45-year-old Portuguese manager isn't ready to reveal his transfer targets.

"I want to start a cycle with the same team from last year, plus one, or two, maximum three new players," Mourinho said. "The team will be more or less the same as last year, but I think differently than Roberto.

"This is far from being a criticism, because if Roberto were to go to Chelsea, things would change there. It's normal."

Mancini, who was fired last week despite winning a third straight Serie A title, has been linked to a possible move to Chelsea. Mourinho, who won the 2005 Champions League with FC Porto, suddenly parted company with Chelsea last September after failing to deliver European glory — despite winning two league titles for the London club.

"I will always, always, always support Chelsea and wish them all the best with their new coach, but if Chelsea meet Inter in the Champions League, then I won't know any of them," Mourinho said. "Chelsea is over for me — not in my heart, but in my thoughts. At this moment, I want to start a new life and I do not want to talk about Chelsea."

Mourinho said he was joining the Italian league at the right time.

"The Serie A is not the best championship in the world," Mourinho said. "I believe that the Serie A is on a road that can bring it to be the best in the world."

Mourinho said 11 teams in Europe — four English, three Italian, three Spanish and one German — were targeting the Champion's League title.

"I say without fear that Inter is one of the eleven," Mourinho added.

With key members of his new squad at the European Championship in Austria and Switzerland, Mourinho will have to wait until July to start working on next season.

"If I have waited seven or eight months, I can wait another month," he said, preferring to look ahead and not back.

"Forget who has won. Who won, won. It's history. We need a new book," he said.

Mourinho said he was looking forward to July 15 when the full squad will be assembled for the first time.

"I am both easy and difficult to work with. It is easy for those who work well and know the team is more important than himself. It is hard for those who are lazy and who aren't team players."

Mourinho, who spoke fluently in Italian, was quick to catch on to a reporter's question about how long he'd been studying the language.

"I am very smart," Mourinho said. "You want to know when Inter started to talk to me for the first time," adding that he has been studying Italian for about a month.

Declining for a second time to name Chelsea players on his wish list, Mourino even switched to the Milanese dialect.

"I am not stupid," Mourinho said.

Source: Herald Tribune (http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/06/03/sports/EU-SPT-SOC-Inter-Mourinho.php)

No comments: