Mourinho eyes new Real challenge

Jose Mourinho believes the task of leading Real Madrid for the next four years represents “the perfect challenge” for the next stage of his coaching career.

The Spanish champions announced yesterday they had agreed a contract extension that will tie Mourinho, who signed an initial four-year deal when he joined the club in 2010, to the Bernabeu until June 2016.

The 49-year-old led Madrid to the Copa del Rey crown in his first season in charge and in the campaign just completed, he guided the club to their first Primera Division title since 2008.

Ominously, Mourinho reckons the Madrid squad is only going to get better.

“I’ve always said this squad is young and that its best years are yet to come,” the Portuguese said. “It isn’t a squad with players on the verge of extinction or playing their final years of top tier football.

“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.

“It’s different for me now because I’m thinking about a club long-term, and that club is Real Madrid.

“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 to force me to be better.”

News of Mourinho’s decision should end speculation about his future, with recent reports linking him with the vacant managerial position at former club Chelsea. “I feel happy,” he said. “I wouldn’t have signed this contract extension otherwise.’’


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