Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho admitted Sunday to twice turning down becoming coach of Paris Saint-Germain.
“I knew PSG’s project before it was initiated,” Mourinho said in an interview with TF1’s Telefoot programme. “Because I think I can say it, I was the first option to go with Leonardo.”
According to the Portuguese coach, PSG twice offered him the manager’s job in the French capital, the first before the arrival of Carlo Ancelotti in winter 2011, and then a second time when Ancelotti left to replace Mourinho himself at Real Madrid in summer 2013.
“I gave it a lot of thought, but I had Madrid the first time and a return to Chelsea the second time around,” Mourinho said.
“I’m in a club where I want to be, but a day will come when Mr. Abramovich will say ‘Jose, it’s over’,” he added when asked if there might be a chance of him joining PSG in the future.
“To be a champion with PSG is not a something of another world.
“To be a champion with England is fantastic for everybody because it’s very tough.
“But PSG have many qualities. Laurent Blanc is a good coach, the president knows his football very well and Leonardo laid a fantastic base.
“The players have experience, the club is there. They’ve made two (Champions League) quarter-finals, they beat Barcelona.
“I think that they have everything they need, but the Champions League is the Champions League,” said the two-time winner of European club football’s highest honour.
Spanish World Cup winner David Villa rescued a point for Melbourne City with a slick goal on his Australian A-League debut to grab a 1-1 draw with Sydney FC yesterday.
Spain’s all-time leading goalscorer scored a superb volley 15 minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute in his first outing in a 10-game loan from New York City.
Villa, 32, was the first major signing announced by Melbourne since they were bought by English Premier League giants Manchester City earlier this year.
Sydney FC had gone ahead in the 54th minute through Corey Gameiro but Villa equalised for Melbourne City nine minutes later. Damien Duff also caught the eye in his first A-League game on the right wing and was impressed with the playing standard.
“I think we deserved more out of the game tonight. I’ve been playing at a fast pace for 20 years so it’s tough, but I enjoyed every minute of it.” Duff said.
Roy Hodgson thinks Spain’s shock defeat to Slovakia proves England should not take their encounter with Estonia lightly today.
After beating Switzerland and San Marino, England are big favourites to make it three wins from three qualifying matches when they take on Estonia in Tallinn this weekend. The Baltic nation are ranked 81st in the world – below Antigua and Barbuda – and have never qualified for a major international tournament.
But Hodgson thinks the old adage that there are no easy games in international football – other than perhaps against San Marino – has been proven recently. Spain lost 2-1 away to Slovakia this week while in the last round of matches Albania defeated Portugal.
“The players are aware of those results,” the England manager said. “These results are happening more and more.
“Maybe 20 or 30 years ago a game between an England and an Estonia or Luxembourg would be an easy game. But we all realise now it will only be an easy game if you play well enough to make it an easy game.
“And we won’t be taking this one lightly.”
Hodgson, who has brought a full squad of 21 players to Tallinn, watched his team take 24 minutes to score against part-timers San Marino on Thursday. This time he is looking for his players to ease the pressure on themselves by striking early at the A. Le Coq Arena, where 10,000 fans are expected to turn up on Sunday afternoon.
A change in qualifying format means Hodgson’s players have had less than 72 hours to prepare for the match in Estonia’s capital, which has been awash with excitement at the visit of England’s stars like Wayne Rooney and Raheem Sterling.
England have only had one full training session since the San Marino game.