WHILE their lives couldn’t be more different, Jose Mourinho and James Corden have more in common than you may think.
Both are seasoned pros in their chosen field with legions of fans around the globe — and a shared obsession with the beautiful game.
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Jose Mourinho chatted with James Corden ahead of this weekend’s EurosCredit: Louis Wood News Group Newspapers Ltd
The TV legend grilled The Special One on everything from his trophies to cricketCredit: Daniel Jones – The Sun
So who better to quiz The Special One than a London-born boy done good?
Who wants to know if one day Jose would plump for a job at his beloved West Ham? Jose, 58, is now at Roma after parting company with Spurs.
Speaking on Zoom, James, 42, got Jose chatting about Harry Kane’s future, the 25-and-a-half trophies he’s won and the advice he’d give to Gareth Southgate.
The England boss famously missed a penalty at Euro 96, one of several shootout heartaches over the years. But Jose says our “mental wall is broken” after spot-kick joy against Colombia at the 2018 World Cup.
JAMES CORDEN: How are you, Jose? This is such a thrill, I’m a big fan.
JOSE MOURINHO: I can’t believe that. You must be a fan of David Moyes.
JC: Yes, Moyesiah — he’s incredible. So, are you excited for this new chapter?
JM: I am. I felt a very good connection with the owners. It’s the feeling of working not for them but with them.
JC: How much of your day is spent thinking about how much you want to improve that squad?
JM: There is a lot of work to do. Zoom made things easy. I don’t like making phone calls. I like to see people.
JC: Fans got to see your reaction to lockdown in the Amazon documentary with Tottenham. Was that in your contract?
Mourinho spoke about Harry Kane’s future, saying he is a ‘very Premier League guy’Credit: Getty
JM: Yes I was informed about it. I gave them my opinion. It would disturb the work we were doing but it would be a good thing for the club.
JC: Reading between the lines my feeling was that Mauricio Pochettino did not want those cameras there. Did you know that was an issue?
JM: No not at all. It was something that was done and it is not even for me to ask why or how.
The positives were more important. And that it is.
JC: I feel you’ve always known when something is going to work or not in the long term. Like at Manchester United, you came to Los Angeles and we filmed something for my show. I had a feeling you thought that season would not end well.
JM: Manchester United was a situation where we won three trophies in the first season. When I met you I wanted more.
JC: I remember you saying to me, “I have no players” and I was like, “No you have this and this.” You said it wasn’t enough.
JM: I am very optimistic but I am very realistic. When we did that at Manchester United by winning the Europa League, and the domestic cup, I felt for the next step it would not be enough.
This season, people were saying, “Great season, you finished second.” I’d say, “We finished second. It’s a bad season.”
He spoke about Gareth Southgate’s heart-breaking missed penalty at Euro 96Credit: Getty
Mourinho revealed the advice he’d give the England bossCredit: Times Newspapers Ltd
JC: Why is finishing second a bad season?
JM: I like Manchester United, the fans were amazing with me. And I think it is good for them that another season without trophies is seen as positive.
But with me the level of expectation coming from the media is completely different.
JC: But some of that pressure you bring on yourself. In press conferences you’ll say things like, “Three, three!”
JM: That’s a reaction! I don’t arrive and say three or five. James, if you want to be proactive you can ask me how many trophies I have won in my career — 25 and a half.
JC: What is the half?
JM: The half is the final I didn’t play with Tottenham.
I’ve won 25 and a half trophies…the half is the final I didn’t play with Spurs.
JC: Were you disappointed you didn’t get to manage?
JM: Of course. To have a chance to win a trophy with a club that doesn’t have many, that was a dream.
JC: Did you ever say, “Let me manage the final, win the trophy and I will leave?”
JM: It is not for me to make that decision.
Corden grilled Mourinho, aka The Special One, on ZoomCredit: Louis Wood News Group Newspapers
Corden admits he’s a big fan and says he feels a very good connection with David Moyes
JC: What advice would you give the new manager?
JM: I am not going to give any advice. I say goodbye, I wish you luck and I move on.
JC: Would you not just say, “Try and keep Harry Kane?”
JM: That’s obvious. He is one of the top strikers in the world.
JC: Did you like working with Harry?
JM: I did enjoy it very much. I love his partnership with Son.
JC: Do you see the ambition in Harry that you have seen in Zlatan, in Ronaldo?
JM: Yes but when I work with these guys they were winning titles. It is about legacy. Legacy is about medals.
But who knows? In five weeks Harry could be a European champion.
JC: I am sure you won’t answer this, but where do you think Harry Kane should play his football next year?
JM: I think he has to play where he is happy. And I think he is happy in England. He is a very Premier League guy.
Mourinho has won 25½ trophies in his career, including a final he didn’t play with TottenhamCredit: Louis Wood News Group Newspapers Ltd
He admits he’s been offered international management jobs at England and PortugalCredit: Louis Wood News Group Newspapers Ltd
The football legend says he doesn’t know what he’d do without the beautiful gameCredit: Louis Wood News Group Newspapers Ltd
JC: Let’s talk about the Euros. Are you excited?
JM: I am always excited about football. We have a break and I feel lost and empty. I don’t know what to do after dinner. I am just zapping zapping zapping with no proper football.
JC: What do you make of England’s chances?
JM: They can win it. I only see France has an incredible squad but apart from that I don’t see one team that is better than the others.
Who knows, in 5 weeks Harry Kane could be a European champion.
JC: Have you ever been offered international management jobs?
JM: England when I left Chelsea but I realised it was too early for me. I had Portugal when I was at Real Madrid. It was a crazy offer for a part-time job. It is the kind of job I think I will enjoy later.
JC: You said you don’t know what to do without football. So what do you do to keep yourself entertained?
JM: I am a very complicated guy. I am totally absorbed by sport. I will be addicted to the Olympics. I am addicted to F1, I am addicted to tennis. There is one sport that I still don’t understand, cricket.
When I was working for Sir Bobby Robson, I could not understand how much he loved the game, because I didn’t understand the game.
Mourinho reckons England can win the Euros, saying ‘I don’t see one team that is better than the others’Credit: The Sun
JC: Sir Bobby because he was clearly a mentor to you. Do you have anyone you consider yourself a mentor to?
JM: I am more than a mentor, I am an agent without commission. I get so many jobs from so many friends. People want advice and opinions.
JC: Did you know about the Super League before us?
JM: I knew the project was in the kitchen and it would come out.
JC: Were you surprised by how quickly it fell apart?
JM: The way people reacted was incredible. I am a football lover. I got emotional about that reaction.
JC: If you had been at Tottenham or Man Utd, and they said, “This is the Super League, we’re going to enter it”, would you have said, “Guys this is a PR disaster?”
JM: I don’t think we have any power in any club at this moment. We have power in relation to our opinion. The old-fashioned football manager with lots of power in the club, I think that has disappeared.
JC: Back to the Euros, from a manager’s point of view, what should Gareth Southgate say to his five?
JM: You know my record on penalties? I lost two Champions League semi-finals on penalties.
JC: So what did you say? Then Gareth Southgate can say the opposite?
JM: When I trust players over my feelings it doesn’t work. For example Chelsea versus Liverpool, one of the players was not on the list. He came to me in the middle of Anfield and he said to me, “Am I the first or fifth?” I said, “You are the sixth or the seventh.”
He says the best player he’s ever coached was MessiCredit: Reuters
He said, “I want to go because I will score.” So with that, I thought, “OK.” He took it but he missed.
I also had the European Super Cup, Chelsea versus Bayern. Again the guy who missed shouldn’t have taken the penalty. The last time this happened I won. It was this season, Tottenham versus Chelsea. And the same thing happened to me. I told the player, “No.”
England don’t need my advice now. That mental wall is broken. They want it.
JC: That is a great bit of advice for Gareth Southgate. OK let’s finish up with some quickfire. The best player you never coached?
JC: The best football game you have been a part of?
JM: Benfica and Porto. That game for us Portuguese is everything. It is tribal, North versus South.
JC: Your favourite food?
JM: I am from a fisherman’s city but I am a meat guy. I like my beef medium well, with amazing chips.
The old-fashioned football manager with lots of power in the club, I think that has disappeared.
JC: Your favourite song?
JM: I wouldn’t say I have a favourite song but I like Bryan Adams, Bruce Springsteen and U2.
JC: Your favourite place in the world?
JM: My city Setubal.
JC: Your favourite thing to do on a day off?
JM: I don’t have days off. There’s not one day when I can disconnect from football, where I can ignore the telephone.
JC: And finally, be honest, everything you have achieved in your career, 25-and-a-half cups, do you feel with every move you are getting closer to your dream of becoming the manager of West Ham United?
JM: It is not my dream.
JC: If it’s not a dream because it’s just so far out of reach for you I get it, I totally get it.
Corden casks whether he’s getting closer to achieving his dream of becoming West Ham’s manager
Unfortunately he shoots Corden down as he says Roma is his futureCredit: Louis Wood News Group Newspapers Ltd
JM: Maybe, James. I am not a club man. That is clear. I am a guy of many clubs. Roma is my future.
JC: My admiration for you never stops growing. Thank you for this. It has been a thrill.
JM: See you in LA, I will go to Coachella.
- IN return for this article, at James’ request, The Sun has made a donation to Magic Breakfast charity, which helps provide breakfasts to school kids. For more information, visit www.magicbreakfast.com.