Wed, May 22, 2013 - Page 20 News List

LA LIGA: Mourinho to leave Real Madrid at end of season

AFP, MADRID

Then-Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, center, is flanked by Frank Lampard, left, and John Terry as he holds the Premier League trophy at Stamford Bridge in London, England, on May 7, 2005.

Photo: EPA

Jose Mourinho will leave Real Madrid at the end of the season after a turbulent three-year spell in charge of the Spanish giants, club president Florentino Perez confirmed on Monday.

“After the conversations we have had with our coach Jose Mourinho, we have arrived at an agreement to end our working relationship at the end of this season,” Perez told a press conference. “The coach and the club agreed this is the right moment. I want to thank Jose Mourinho for the work he has done in the last few years.”

Mourinho, who has been strongly linked with a return to Chelsea — the team he managed between 2004 and 2007 — has endured a torrid final season in charge of Los Blancos culminating in last Friday’s defeat by Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey final that ensured Real end the season without a major trophy.

However, Perez denied that Mourinho had been sacked by the club and said they will not have to pay the Portuguese coach compensation, despite the fact his current contract runs until 2016.

“No one has sacked anyone, it has been a mutual agreement,” Perez said. “It is not nice for anyone to have to leave, but it is also true that after three years we both decided it was the right moment to break this relationship.”

Despite rumors linking Paris Sant-Germain boss Carlo Ancelotti with the manager’s job at the Santiago Bernabeu, Perez said he has not reached an agreement with any coach to succeed Mourinho.

“I want to clarify that we have not established any agreement or pre-contract with any coach. This is a job we have ahead of us in the coming days,” he said. “I want to show my maximum respect to PSG, their president and all the clubs.”

The 50-year-old Mourinho’s time in charge of the nine-time European champions has been littered with high profile bust-ups with the local media and many of his stellar squad of world class players, but Perez hailed his demanding standards throughout his time in charge.

“He is a very demanding coach, with himself and with the rest, and this wears you down,” he said. “The important thing is that we have recovered the level that we didn’t have before.”

Mourinho’s time in charge did have its successes as he guided Real to the La Liga title last season and won the club’s first Copa del Rey for 20 years back in 2011.

Los Blancos also reached three UEFA Champions League semi-finals under Mourinho, but ultimately it was his failure to lead Real to their treasured 10th European title that will mark his legacy in the Spanish capital.

The Portuguese was heavily criticized for his overly defensive approach in a number of meetings with eternal rivals Barcelona during his first year in charge as Madrid were humbled 5-0 at the hands of the Catalans and also dumped out of the Champions League by Barca in a bad tempered semi-final.

The following season was to prove Mourinho’s best in Spain as Real finally overcame Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering Barcelona side on the domestic front to claim their first title in four years.

It was also a title won in style as Real racked up 121 goals and a record 100 points.

Mourinho’s generally successful first two years in charge has now been blotted by a disruptive final season when he seemed to be in constant conflict with senior members of his squad.

Sergio Ramos and Mesut Ozil were singled out early in the campaign as Real started slowly on the domestic front to hand Barcelona an early advantage in the league which they have never relinquished.

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