Mourinho gives tough message to Madrid

The first clue the blog had that The Special One had entered the room was the cacophonous click of cameras and cries of ‘hijo de puta’ from the 15 strong flashmob of cameramen jostling and jarring to get the best shot of Madrid’s latest manager leaning back into his chair in the Bernabeu press centre.

With his special arms folded behind his special back, Mourinho was a picture of cool-as-f*ck tranquility, an image that stood in perfect contrast with that of his fretting and feverish new boss, Jorge Valdano, the gentleman who had once written rather disparaging remarks about his junior partner’s pragmatic managerial stylings.

VIDEO: Real unveil Mourinho

Madrid’s sporting director was doing his level best to smile for the four minutes that the two endured being snapped and filmed - Mourinho didn’t bother with such pleasantries - preparing for his opening speech, a speech that contained an apology for his 2007 comments in a Marca article and insistence that the air between the pair had been well and truly cleared.

It certainly didn’t look like it for the hour that the pair spent sat next to each other fielding questions from the media, 60 minutes where Mourinho already looked like he was wearing both the trousers, boxers and socks in their footballing household.

Whilst Valdano grimaced, sweated and tried to find something to do with his ever-so-trembly hands, Mourinho did what he does so brilliantly - shrugged, stared, and straight-batted almost of all of the questions sent his way from CNN to la Sexta.

Admitting from the off that his Spanish was more than a little rusty after two years in Italy, Mourinho’s behaviour was at his best for the first half an hour of his presentational press conference.

However, Florentino Pérez’ eighth coach was by no means of a mood to launch a charm offensive with the local press by saying that he accepted his latest role not “because he was born to manage Real Madrid,” as his questioner suggested but because “not managing [Madrid] would be a gap in anyone’s career.”

“I’ve done enough to deserve to be here,” he added later, in case the earlier point was not quite clear enough that Madrid needed him more than he needed Madrid.

“I’ve come here with everything a coach can win in world club football.”It was once he had eased himself into the local lingo when Mourinho was at his most revealing - or on dodgy Bernabeu ground, if you like - with some of his answers triggering a wonderful look of “no! no! no! no! no! no!” on his suffering sporting director’s face.

The message from Mourinho was that the Galactico reboot was over and done with.

José confirmed that he was only looking for three or four additions to the squad and that “the profile of the player is more important than their name” - a philosophy that may be news to Florentino Pérez, who has no doubt been spending his days flicking through World Cup sticker albums to help him select his latest blockbuster signing.

A 10-tonne piano of a hint at Mourinho’s sporting direction had already been dropped onto the heads of the journos when answering a question on his relationship with Cristiano Ronaldo with the response that he would “persuade him that the most important thing is not the coach or the players but the team.”

“My side will be built with the objective of winning titles,” announced Mourinho.

Another insight from Madrid’s new man is that his Madrid will not be stuffed to bursting point with Spanish players, something that has been a bit of an obsession with Marca in recent years but probably won’t be anymore with Mourinho claiming that a club’s “identity has nothing to do with nationality.”

Although the former Inter man spoke for just an hour, he delivered his treatise of how he sees the club being run under his four year regime: no superstars, no ‘Spanish-isation’ and no desperate desire to win the Champions League - “I like dreams, not obsessions.”

The obvious problem with this statement of intent is that it is already in conflict with everything Florentino Pérez has been preaching in his second spell at the Santiago Bernabeu - stars ahead of the squad and the Champions League as the be-all and end-all at the Bernabeu.

But if the Madrid president is willing to let Mourinho work in his own way without interference then their new coach clearly has the confidence and ability to flourish in his latest role.

However, it is this Portugal-sized ‘if’ that is the key factor on whether Mourinho will succeed where so many before him have failed.

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