TOP MAN BECKS; MOURINHO EXCLUSIVE: SPECIAL ONE'S SALUTE AT SAN SIRO, LIVE ON BBC3, KICK-OFF 7PM I Knew He'd Be a Success Here in Italy Says Jose

Sunday Mirror (London, England), February 15, 2009 | Go to article overview

TOP MAN BECKS; MOURINHO EXCLUSIVE: SPECIAL ONE'S SALUTE AT SAN SIRO, LIVE ON BBC3, KICK-OFF 7PM I Knew He'd Be a Success Here in Italy Says Jose


Byline: BY PAUL SMITH in Milan

DERBY EVE in Milan and Jose Mourinho is happy to salute two English sporting institutions - David Beckham and Chelsea.

Mourinho's Internazionale, currently at the summit of Serie A, take on Beckham and his AC Milan team-mates in the San Siro tonight.

The fact that Mourinho (right) is on course for instant glory in his first season in Italy, while his old charges at Stamford Bridge chop managers and flounder, sparks no hint of satisfaction from the Portuguese boss.

On Beckham, Mourinho told Sunday Mirror Sport yesterday: "David has improved AC Milan. I knew it. I knew in advance that all the fears people had about him were not there.

"I knew he was a top professional who was arriving in great condition with great ambition.

"Add to that what he brings to the league, the club, the team, the managers and the player is something special.

Something you cannot underestimate.

"His attitude as a professional is a great example to every player. And he is playing very well. He brings a different kind of quality to the AC Milan side.

And for the good of the Italian League I hope he stays."

Mourinho added: "I think it's a a pity for a player like him not to be playing in the top European League. I don't know whether he made a mistake going to America. His life is his.

"Maybe it was about things beyond football. As a football man, I say it's a pity he was in the MLS and not playing for Real Madrid, Inter, AC Milan or Arsenal or Manchester United.

"I think Beckham should still be playing at the highest level."

Mourinho revealed on leaving Chelsea in September 2007 that one day he would return to Stamford Bridge. That was a theme he returned to yesterday.

"Chelsea has struggled so much because I left - I'm only joking!

"It's a special place for me. I have special friends there. But I have continued with my story and they have continued with theirs. But I am not enjoying the experience of seeing them have three managers in one year and a few months. And I hope they find the right man to bring them success.

"They know the good feeling of winning and when you know that and don't have it you are unhappy and you are left with a very bad taste.

"If you ask me if I think one day I will return to Chelsea I will say 'yes'. because we were so happy together.

"But when I say one day, I am not saying to you when.

"One day I will manage in Spain and I tell you one day I think I will be the coach of the Portugal national team. …

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