Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho, the only coach to win European football’s top three leagues, has told CNN in an exclusive interview that his remarkable track record of success and very public profile has had a devastating impact on his personal life.
After winning league titles with Chelsea, Inter, Real as well as Porto in his homeland, Mourinho says it has got to the stage where even his 12-year-old son is taunted when he plays a football match.
“I hate my social life,” Mourinho told CNN. “I hate not to be a normal father who goes with his son to the son’s football match and being there with the other 20 fathers there watching the game.
“I’m at a football match of kids and I have to be there. The people have to come for photos; the people have to come for autographs; the people have to come to insult me; the people have to go behind the goal of my kid and insult my kid of 12.”
Watch video of Jose Mourinho’s interview
As well as his uncanny ability to guide teams to trophy after trophy, Mourinho’s very public profile has also been accompanied by an ability to attract headlines — sometimes unwanted — where his media conference theatrics have journalists drooling over his every utterance.
At times the Portuguese coach, who is courted by numerous sponsors, has also tarnished his reputation — no more so than in last season’s altercation with the now Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova, when Mourinho poked his opponent in the eye.
“I think it’s quite normal because people think they know me, but they don’t,” added Mourinho, who is bidding to become the first coach to win the Champions League with three different clubs following his triumphs with Porto in 2004 and Inter Milan in 2010.
“People know the manager, especially the manager during 90 minutes. And during 90 minutes, I’m not there to have fun.
“Fun is a consequence. I’m there to do my job, I’m there to win. I’m there with my team to try to win. I’m there and I live the game, I live the match as if it was the last match of my career.
“So people look at me and they see what they see. After that, in press conferences, it’s the other place where people know me.
“In press conferences, there is still a match to play. Before the match, press conference is pre-match and after the match, press conference is post-match, but it’s a match.”
But Mourinho insisted he was a very different person one from the portrayed by the media.
“People don’t know me as a friend, as a family man, as a manager inside of my group, the relationship I have with the people that work in the club.
“So I don’t complain and say people are wrong, people are looking at me with the wrong eye. No, these people see what they see.”
And despite the cost to his personal life, Mourinho insisted he wanted to be a coach for at least another two decades.
“So, you know, I would love to be with my family in the street as a normal person and I can’t, so I am a completely different person in my private life,” added Mourinho, who will turn 50 in January.
“I keep to myself, I keep to the people that are close to me and one day when my career finishes, I hope that I will still have a few years to be a normal person because I want to finish my career at 70 or 75.”
After guiding Porto to the European Cup in 2004, Mourinho moved to England and managed Chelsea, who won two English Premier League titles in 2005 and 2006 under the Portuguese coach and he has often spoken of his desire to return to England.
There has plenty of speculation he will replace Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United as the 70-year-old Scotsman approaches the twilight of his managerial career.
The two men enjoy a close relationship away from football — they both share a love of fine wine — with Mourinho affectionately referring to the United manager as ‘The Boss’.
“I call him the boss because he’s the boss of the coaches and I hope that when I go back to English football he still manages Manchester United.
“I don’t think about that, especially as I have a four-year contract with Real, I sign it and when I sign it, I sign it because I wanted to be in Real Madrid at this period of my career and I don’t think in another club.
“I just say openly that for many reasons that after Real Madrid, Inter, Italy, Spain, Chelsea, England, Porto, Portugal, that after this project, the next step will be England for many reasons but when I don’t know.
“I don’t have an idea and I am so happy to be in this moment as manager of the best club in the world.”
Mourinho retains a home in London and was keen to emphasize he is still on friendly terms with Chelsea’s billionaire owner Roman Abramovich, revealing that the Russian had played a key role in recently allowing Blues midfielder Michael Essien to make a loan move to Madrid before the end of the August transfer window.
“We are in touch a lot, and the last example is Michael Essien was going to another club and when I did (gestures to telephone call) ‘please leave it to your friend’ he left to his friend,” said the Real coach.
“We have a great relationship in fact.”