Mourinho puts himself among Portugal greats

ZURICH - Jose Mourinho put himself on the same pedestal as revered Portuguese compatriots Eusebio, Luis Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo after becoming the first winner of the Coach of the Year award on Monday.

But Mourinho was not entirely satisfied with the evening, saying that the Inter Milan team he coached to a treble last season should have been represented among the three candidates for the Player of the Year award won by Lionel Messi.

"Obviously for me, the most important are the collective titles, not the individual ones... but it's an historic trophy, historic for me, historic for Portuguese football as well and obviously I feel great pride," he told reporters.

"I'm proudly Portuguese, the Portuguese don't have so many of these proud moments, and this is certainly good for Portuguese ego.

"After Eusebio, Figo, and Cristiano (Ronaldo), we are now four golden balls."

Mourinho's award was the result of a poll conducted jointly by FIFA and France Football magazine, who also joined forces to produce the first FIFA Ballon D'Or Player of the Year award.

Figo and Ronaldo each won both the old FIFA and France Football awards while Eusebio, who played long before the FIFA award existed, also won the latter.

Mourinho, now with Real Madrid, won a Champions League, Serie A and Italian Cup treble with Inter last season.

That success only went on to enhance his reputation further as he was already one of the world's most sought after coaches having won the Serie A title with Inter in 2008/9, two Premier League and one FA Cup titles with Chelsea and Champions League, UEFA Cup and two league titles with Porto.

Barcelona trio Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi were contenders for the player's award but Mourinho said there should have been room for at least one member of his Inter team.

"Inter were a little hard done by in my opinion, European champions, world champions, champions of everything, to have not had anyone among the players sitting in these three chairs," he said.

"For me it was something of an injustice. It had special meaning that their trainer had won an historic trophy."

Mourinho was close to tears during the ceremony when Inter player Wesley Sneijder thanked him from the stage after being picked in the world XI.

"The most important is to hear words like the ones from Sneijder which affect you more than the trophies you can win," said Mourinho.