As he spoke to the media for the first time since being appointed Chelsea manager for a second time, Jose Mourinho expressed his delight at returning to Stamford Bridge, and his hope that it is the start of long period in charge.
Seldom has an introductory press conference been greeted with such interest, with supporters outside in the hope of catching a glimpse of the Blues boss, camera crews reporting in the area since the early hours and the attendance inside as large as anyone could remember.
Mourinho cut a calm, composed figure as he discussed his appointment at length, and having been nicknamed ‘The Special One’ following a comment made at his first Chelsea press conference, he had an updated suggestion for those eager for a quick headline.
‘I’m the happy one,’ he said. ‘Time flies, it looks like it was a couple of days ago but it was nine years ago and since then a lot has happened in my professional life.
‘I have the same nature, I am the same person, I have the same heart and the same kind of emotions related to my passion for football and my job.In this moment I would describe myself as a very happy person. It’s the first time I’ve arrived at a club where I already love the club.’
The Portuguese delivered our first title for 50 years in his debut season at the club, following it a year later with another Premier League triumph. He also won the 2007 FA Cup and two League Cups, as well as reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League on two occasions before his departure in the September of his fourth season. He is confident of more achievement at Stamford Bridge.
‘I always trust my work, I know many of the people that belong to the club and I know the ambition and mentality that people have.
‘My career was built and based on success, and in every club I was able to reach success, win trophies and leave a different kind of legacy, so I have to believe in that.
‘The normal message to my players is to work hard, with quality, and that the club is much more important than ourselves. Normally, with hard work success arrives.
‘I read and keep hearing I was fired, sacked and that we had a complete breakdown in our relationship, which isn’t true,’ he said of his departure in 2007.
‘It was a mutual agreement at the time and we felt it was best for me and the club. It was a sad moment but I don’t regret the decision because after I went to Inter where I had probably the best moment of my career.
‘After that I went to Madrid where we have the record for the best team in Spanish history, For Chelsea things went well too, they were European champions for the first time.
‘It was only because of the fact it was a mutual agreement and that there was no break in the relationship that I’m here today, it wouldn’t have been possible if there was a complete break in the relationship.
‘I’m back because we feel we are in a moment where we are ready to work together again, and in better conditions to work together, succeed and achieve what this club wants, which is stability.’
Mourinho was clearly more eager to look forward rather than dwelling on past achievements.
‘We all want the same, we are heading in the same direction and it is a moment when there is maturity, a very good feeling and we have the same perspective for the future,’ he said.
‘My area is the sports area, but more now in the world of football you have to be deeply connected with other areas in the club, and I think we have the same kind of vision.
‘I want to be respected for what I did in the past, of course, but I want to be loved for what I can do in the future, and the fans can know that I come here to do my best.’
Today marks a national day of celebration in Mourinho’s native Portugal, with the country celebrating their rich history and culture.
Since leaving his homeland in 2004, his career has spanned three different countries, but after an exciting period, which has seen him lead his respective sides to countless trophies, the time has come, as he explained, to lay down some firm roots.
‘I am Portuguese and I always love adventure like the Portuguese ones in the past,’ he said. ‘I am a bit of a navigator and I did what I wanted to do. I needed a special family, which I have, and they gave me the chance to move around.
‘I wanted to do it, I wanted to win the three most important leagues and cups and I did it. People have other good things but the culture in football is something very important for the manager, and six or seven months ago I wanted to go to somewhere I enjoy it very much.
‘It is up to me to show the club that I deserve to be here a long time, I hope I can go to the last day of this contract and if the club want for me to be here longer I will be very happy.
‘You have to learn with experience. Sometimes people speak about older people in a negative way and I think experience in life is very important, especially if you use it in the right way.
‘I analyse myself every day and I try to improve. I am the same but nine years is a big difference and when I arrived in 2004 I was pushed a lot in that first press conference to have a strong approach.
‘Now you know me and my history and now I don’t need that approach, I want to be calm and work the best I can and I think I am in the best moment in my career. I am so sorry the pre-season does not start tomorrow.’