Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Is Jose Mourinho Waiting on a Bigger Prize?

Jose Mourinho reportedly took himself out of contention for the England job this week. With A.C. Milan’s shoddy form in Serie A, in particular at home, it seems inevitable Italian will be prominent on Jose’s menu for the next few years; possibly as early as the January break?

Mourinho, through his agent Jorge Mendes, said on Monday that his representatives met with the FA about the job, but ultimately decided against it, though he did call it a “wonderful job.”

It’s a classic negotiating ploy and it looks like Mourinho played it perfectly by feigning interest in the England job while driving up the price with the real apples of his eye: monster clubs like Milan or even Barcelona. I’ve written it before that Mourinho considers coaching on the national level and old man’s gig and that it was unlikely he was ever sincere in his interest in coaching England. Mourinho, in the end, is probably a better candidate than Fabio Capello or Marcello Lippi, if for no other reason, his command of the language and his intimate knowledge of English football.

That said, if Mourinho is some day destined for managing on the international level, it will be with Portugal. Luis Filipe Scolari will be at the helm of Portugal through next summer’s Euro and that will likely be it for the Brazilian. Expect Mourinho to whet his appetite enough on the domestic level until then, before settling in for the stretch run toward the 2010 World Cup.

By then, Portugal will be loaded for a world title and he might be enough to push it over the top. Consider, in 2010, Ronaldo will be dead-smack in his prime at 25 years old; Ricardo Quaresma will be 26; Nani, Miguel Veloso and Joao Moutinho, 24; Deco and Maniche could assume the veteran Luis Figo-type roles at 32. Other veterans will include Ricardo in goal, Paolo Ferreira and Ricardo Carvalho on defense, and Simao Sabrosa up front.

That’s the real golden generation, and with Mourinho at the rudder, a world title might be in the wings.

Check out josemourinhoblogspot.

101greatgoals has more as well.

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