Jose Mourinho has commented that he left Real Madrid in the summer because he wanted to, and not because the club did.
The Portuguese endured a difficult third and final year in the Spanish capital, before leaving in May and returning to Chelsea, after months of speculation on the matter.
For the 50-year-old, his motivations to be back at Stamford Bridge are not purely personal, nor were they forced by Los Blancos.
“If I was here for me I wouldn’t be here. There are teams that could have been successful immediately, I had a lot of them in my hands,” reflected Mourinho to reporters this week.
“I had Real Madrid. I left them because I wanted to, not because they wanted me to.
“If I was here for financial reasons, I wouldn’t be here getting a lot less money than I had at Real Madrid, where I had three more years on my contract.”
The English media have it that Mourinho was on close to €15m a season with Madrid and that with Chelsea he is now earning just under €10m a year.
“I didn’t come here because the job was easy, or because I had a team ready to attack the title, or because I was coming here for the best contract of my life.
“It’s the worst of my last six years. I’m here because I love the club, I love the project. I also love the country in terms of football, but the main reason is I was explained what the club wanted of me and I liked that.”
The two-time Champions League-winner was talking ahead of Chelsea’s meeting with Arsenal and so was asked for his ambitions of longevity for the future and if they include matching Arsene Wenger’s 18 years with the Gunners.
“I would say 12 years. I’m 51 next month. I’d say 12 years, and two years to go to a World Cup with a national team. I would prefer the Portuguese national team. England second.
“Realistically I have four years contract remaining. I hope at the end of those four years we sit, analyse the situation and that we will be the point where we are both happy to carry on or happy to separate.
“My desire and my feeling is to work these four years and analyse the situation.”