Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Key year for hopefuls - Mourinho

Jose Mourinho, pictured, would not directly answer questions on Wayne Rooney

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho believes it is imperative for aspiring World Cup players to be first choice for their clubs, as the courtship of Wayne Rooney continued in Kuala Lumpur.

Questions on the future of Manchester United striker Rooney, who was this week the subject of a bid from Chelsea, were not permitted as Mourinho spoke on the Blues' arrival in Malaysia. Rooney was reported to be "angry and confused" after United boss David Moyes suggested he was second choice behind Robin van Persie, whether intentionally or not.

When asked about Brazil 2014, Mourinho did not refer to Rooney - his sole transfer target - but his message was clear.

"Any player that wants to go to the World Cup, if they are a second choice at their club, then they're in trouble, they're in trouble," Mourinho said. "This is a crucial year for that and many national team coaches are worried because they want players to play regularly for their teams."

Mourinho was asked to assess the merits of Chelsea in comparison with other Barclays Premier League clubs. He insisted it was not possible for him to compare, but that his thoughts were with the Blues in the intervening period between his September 2007 departure and his return last month.

"If Chelsea can become a really special club for me, it's because Chelsea can be a special club for everybody," Mourinho said.

"I left the club in 2007. I went to two fantastic football countries like Italy and Spain, I went to two fantastic football clubs like Inter Milan and Real Madrid and I was always wishing to be back. This club is so special that I'm back and I hope to stay for a long time.

"That's the only thing I can say, to every other professional in the world. This is my own experience. I'm back and I'm so happy I'm back."

Mourinho is enjoying life back at Chelsea and intends to keep his squad together. Spain playmaker Juan Mata and Brazil defender David Luiz have been linked with moves away from Stamford Bridge, a prospect the Blues boss dismissed.

He said: "No chance. No chance."

Neither player is on the Asia tour, after being granted a break following the Confederations Cup. Mourinho's wife was influential in his decision to leave Madrid and return to west London and he again pointed to his happiness.

"The most important thing in football, either for players or for managers is the passion, the happiness and the feelings we have for a club," the Portuguese said. "We all are professionals, but at the same time we all are in love with our job.

"If you can execute your mission, your job - either as a player or a manager - not just because you are paid for it, not just because it's your job, it's your work, but because you can do it with happiness and passion and feeling, that's the most important thing.

"The most important thing for me is the deep feeling I'm at a really special football club. Not many clubs are like that, where people remember you and the fans sing your name, not just at Stamford Bridge but all over the world, you can't have a better feeling."