x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Mourinho says Portugal job is Madrid's call

A temporary offer to step in as manager and save his country's European Championship qualifying campaign has the Real coach divided.

Jose Mourinho addresses a press conference after a practice session ahead of Madrid's Spanish League match against Real Sociedad.
Jose Mourinho addresses a press conference after a practice session ahead of Madrid's Spanish League match against Real Sociedad.

MADRID // Jose Mourinho said Friday a decision over whether he takes temporary charge of the Portugal team for two European qualifying games is up to his Real Madrid club. The Portuguese Football Federation president Gilberto Madail had met with Mourinho late Thursday to discuss the matter and Mourinho made it clear any deal would have to be worked out between the Spanish club and his home federation. "I can't say yes to the national team because I owe Real Madrid," Mourinho said. "But I can't obviously say no because I want Portugal to win." Portugal took just one point from its first two 2012 European Championship qualifying games. It plays Denmark and Iceland in October and remains without a coach after firing Carlos Queiroz. Madrid had not commented on the proposal.

Mourinho said coaching Portugal was a long-term, rather than short-term, goal. "My help would be limited. The ideal situation would be to lead the team with full dedication," Mourinho said. "I won't say no, but I'm Real Madrid coach and I have a contract for the next four years." Madrid signed Mourinho soon after the Portuguese coach led Inter Milan to the Champions League trophy in May. Mourinho is one of three coaches to have won Europe's top competition with two different clubs after leading FC Porto to the title in 2004. "Real Madrid has all the right, all the right to put up an obstacle," the former Chelsea manager said. * AP