Jose Mourinho reveals why he turned down England job

Jose Mourinho turned down the chance to manage England  (Getty Images)
Jose Mourinho turned down the chance to manage England (Getty Images)

Jose Mourinho has claimed that he turned down an opportunity to manage England in 2007.

The Portuguese manager has been regularly linked with the role during his career since leading Chelsea to back-to-back Premier League triumphs in 2005 and 2006.

But the 61-year-old, who is out of work after being sacked by Serie A side Roma, has now confirmed that there was an offer on the table after the sacking of Steve McClaren.

The role was eventually taken by Fabio Capello, with Mourinho joining Inter Milan in 2008 after leaving Chelsea.

“I could have been the coach of [the England] national team,” Mourinho told the Vibe with Five podcast. “I had it there on the table.

“[I turned it down] because I always had national team jobs as something I wouldn’t enjoy. It was in 2007-08 and Mr (Fabio) Capello got the job.”

Capello failed to get the best out of a fine generation of English talent, exiting the 2010 World Cup to Germany at the last-16 stage.

The team has flourished since the appointment of Gareth Southgate in 2016, reaching the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup and the final of Euro 2020.

Jose Mourinho could have ended up as England manager (AP)
Jose Mourinho could have ended up as England manager (AP)

Southgate’s long-term future would appear to be uncertain ahead of this summer’s Euros, and Mourinho has been mentioned as a possible candidate were the position to become vacant.

The former Manchester United and Tottenham manager is impressed by this generation of England players and believes that they are contenders for the tournament in Germany, which begins on 14 June.

“It is a very good generation,” said Mourinho. “They got to the Euro [2020] final, they can do it [win Euro 2024].

“The mentality of the guys who have gone abroad, (Jude) Bellingham for example, I believe there is something that separates him from the boys that were born in England, developed in England, and are playing in England. He can add something different, he is a kid of the world. He has a big, big personality.

“Southgate with Steve Holland, he was my assistant at Chelsea and what a person, they’ve done a beautiful job there, but it’s just missing that little bit. I cannot say I wish they do it (win the Euros) because I think Portugal can do it and I wish Portugal do it.”