Inter’s New ‘Kid’ is in Town: The José Mourinho Show Begins…

The news almost got lost amidst all the post-Cannavaro injury chaos, but José Mourinho‘s first official press conference as Inter manager already left its mark in Italy. Showcasing an almost perfect mastery of the Italian language, the ex-Chelsea manager lived up to his reputation; clarity, self-confidence, and witty repartee were all present in the 45 minutes Mourinho spoke to the press, and one thing was clear at the end of the day: the ‘Special One’ wants to win titles!

From Gazzetta: Inter directors Giuseppe Baresi, Marco Branca and Ernesto Paolillo were at his side but Mourinho did all the talking himself, speaking at length and holding nothing back. The Portuguese manager feels strong and eager to start his new project: as a perfectionist who demands the best from himself, the press conference even began a few minutes early, and Mourinho threw himself into his studies like he does into the game: with all his heart and soul. His Italian is already fluent and requires no need for interpreters. He switched easily between Italian and English, answering journalists’ questions in their mother tongue, stressing however that for him English was now the exception, and would only be used to give individual answers.

Mourinho said he does not shy away from responsibility and is not daunted by following in Roberto Mancini’s footsteps; he even mentioned the ex-Inter coach several times. He wants to win (particularly the Champions League), and his broad shoulders and CV that speaks for itself should provide plenty of ammunition to achieve that objective.

THE ‘SPECIAL ONE’? - “I am at a special club, so I want to be known only as ‘José Mourinho’. I think I am a great manager but here I am just another cog in a big machine. I will be starting a new chapter, following on from that led by Roberto, also a great manager. I am different, however: this is my challenge now. I know I do a good job, so results are sure to follow. I’m delighted to be here: I have always dreamed of working in Italy, which is a fantastic country from a football perspective. I would like to thank Moratti and Branca for having brought me here.”

ROSTER & TRANSFERS – “According to what I read in the press, I must be aiming to work with a squad of 60 players. I actually want 21, plus three goalkeepers. I like the current squad and we don’t need to make dramatic changes. We need 2, maximum 3 players to improve and change our style a little. These players are now my players and from this moment on they are the best in the world. I want them to know that I like what I have. I am dying to start; it will be difficult to wait until July 15. I am aiming to only take 21 players to our training camp in Brunico, perhaps giving Materazzi a week’s rest. Regarding Chelsea players, I’d love to sign them if they’re for sale. Many of them would love to play for me again.”

NEGOTIATIONS WITH INTER – “The initial contact was made the day after the second leg of the Inter-Liverpool match. I didn’t begin studying Italian then, however: I’ve only been learning for three or four weeks. It’s a Latin language and I speak Portuguese and Spanish, so it isn’t very difficult for me to learn.”

SERIE A – “Serie A is improving and will go back to being the best league in the world. Milan, Juventus and Roma have excellent teams and are looking to improve; they are sure to make big signings. I want us to be up there fighting for the title.”

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE – “It is not only the fans that dream of a Champions League triumph. There will be 11 teams looking to win it next season: 3 Italian, 4 English, 1 German and 3 Spanish. It is a competition in which details matter and make the difference between triumph and failure. During the last 4 years I have won it once and reached the semi-finals twice. I have also won the UEFA Cup. I think I am good in cup competitions, whether domestic or European and I don’t think it will be more difficult here than it was with Chelsea, who had less pedigree. For me the challenge is always the same: I want to win. That will be our aim in every competition, even the Super Cup.”

LEADERSHIP – “I need to talk to my players to decide how we will play. I like to communicate, then I take the decisions myself.”

ADRIANO & the other Brazilians - “I will go to Brazil on June 18 for Brazil-Argentina, to talk to my Brazilian and Argentine players. Crespo, who has already played with me at Chelsea, will be able to help me tell his team-mates that with me in charge players have to work hard if they want to play. Lazy players don’t get on the pitch.”

TACTICS – “I like to have one main formation, but then be able to adapt and be multifunctional.”

WINNING VALUES – “The Chairman gave me a wonderful book on the history of Inter, but now I want to begin writing a second volume: I want to turn a new page. The first rule will be to forget past victories: they are in the past and should be consigned to history. The day I wake up without ambition will be the day I go back to Portugal.” It seems a long way off…

Finally, in pure Mourinho style, the Portuguese manager had this to say to a journalist who, for the upteenth time, asked him about players from Chelsea:

Journalist: “From what you have observed in England, would a player like Frank Lampard or Michael Essien have a difficult time at playing here in Italy?
Mourinho: “Why do you ask about Chelsea players?
Journalist: “Because it’s a smart way to ask the same question as he did” (points to a journalist who had previously asked if Mourinho would try to bring Lampard & Essien to Inter)
Mourinho: “Yes… yes… (pause) però io non sono pirla (but I am no fool)”

You can find bits of Mourinho’s press conference (in Italian) on Gazzetta’s MediaCenter: part 1 & part 2.

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Posted in Inter, Serie A, Transfer News & Rumours |

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  • One Response to “Inter’s New ‘Kid’ is in Town: The José Mourinho Show Begins…”

    1. NickyViola says:

      This should be fun.