Jose Mourinho has signalled his intention to return to the “top level” of football management after being relieved of his duties at Manchester United at the end of 2018.
The Portuguese boss’ two and a half year spell at Old Trafford ultimately ended in failure , with his side adrift of both Premier League pace-setters Liverpool and Manchester City and the race for Champions League qualification.
He had previously led the club to a second-placed finish in 2017-18 and wins in the Europa League and FA Cup, but United’s awful league form this season and widespread reports of rifts with senior players saw him depart.
Mourinho’s immediate future is still up in the air, with sporadic rumours linking him to clubs such as Real Madrid and Inter as well as the Portugal national team.
But one thing is for certain: the ‘Special One’ has no intention of walking away from the game.
“I want to coach,” he told BeIN Sports while commenting on the ongoing Asian Games.
“I am too young [to retire], I am in football for a long, long time but I will be 56 in a couple of weeks and am really too young.
“Where I am going to stay is where I belong, I belong to top football. I belong to top-level football and that is where I am going to be.”
A prospective return to Madrid has divided Blancos fans, with some wary of welcoming back a manager who held a fractious relationship with certain players during his time at Santiago Bernabeu.
The failure to win a Champions League also hangs over Mourinho’s head given the club’s subsequent continental success, but he believes his tenure was a success.
“People sometimes forget because a Champions League is something worldwide,” he explained.
“But we won the Spanish Cup and the league with a record 100 points, to make 100 points you need to win matches, a lot of matches, and the record for goals scored.
“When people tell a lie many times people think it’s true, but you can tell a lie 1000 times and it is still a lie.
“With Real Madrid we have the record for goals scored in Spanish football.”
Inter, meanwhile, were singled out by the manager as the best team he has had the privilege of coaching.
“I have to say Inter because we won everything. I have to be objective, respectful to them and say a team that won everything, from day one until the last day, won all the competitions,” he added.
“They won the treble, they beat the best team in the world, Barcelona, 3-1, beat Bayern Munich in the final 2-0, won the league in Italy with a fantastic number of points, won the cup, won three finals in 10 days.
“I have to say they’re the best team.”