José Mourinho says he is missing being involved in football, but insists he will not rush into taking a job which does not satisfy his ambitions to return to the highest level of club football.
The former Porto boss has been out of work since leaving Manchester United last December, but having turned down numerous offers – including from China – Mourinho says he is entitled to be selective and wait for the right challenge.
This year saw Mourinho spend his first summer away from football since becoming a manager almost 19 years ago. However, in an interview with Sky Sports, the Portuguese admitted he is struggling to enjoy his break from coaching and is keen to return to the game in order to be happy.
“I have had time to think and analyse and what I feel is that fire,” he said. “My friends tell me to enjoy my time; enjoy my July and August and the time I never had. Honestly, I can’t enjoy it. I’m not happy enough to enjoy it. I miss my football; I have the fire.”
"I have won the right to choose"
Mourinho confirmed he was learning German, which he described as far more difficult than any language he has studied, but denied the notion that a move to the Bundesliga is impending. Instead, the 56-year-old is open to offers but only if they fit the standards deserved given his success in the game.
“The most difficult thing for me is to say no to the possibilities. I have to be patient and wait for the right one. And the right one is one in the dimension of what I am as a manager. I have to be patient and that is the most difficult thing because I have had the impulse during this period to go, but I cannot go. I have to wait for exactly the right one.”
Asked if his next job would have to be in one of the big five leagues in Europe, Mourinho said: “Yeah, I think you can rule everything else out. If you tell me a club in another country wants to fight to be champion, build something special and bring that club to a different level, maybe. But my focus is on the biggest ones.
“To say ‘no’ is very, very difficult. I say ‘no’ because the level of challenge I want did not arrive. With all respect for the possibilities I had, I think I have won the right to choose.”
The job most routinely connected with Mourinho is that of the Portuguese national side. However, despite suggesting he may be keen on the position earlier in the summer, Mourinho says the part-time nature of international football is still an unattractive aspect of taking up a job at that level.
“Could it be my last job? It could be,” he said. “A national team job is still once per month, lots of office, no training, no matches, waiting two years for a Euro or a World Cup. No! Still no. But one day, maybe. If not Portugal another country because when I go to a tournament I have the feeling that one day I want to do it. Maybe one day, and if it’s Portugal then obviously I would be very proud.”
By Sean Gillen