ITV has defended its decision to cut short an interview with Jose Mourinho just when it appeared the Real Madrid manager was about to reveal his future plans.
The post-match interview with Mourinho was ended abruptly and ITV went to the advertisement break before News at Ten. An ITV statement read: “Our reporter Gabriel Clarke managed to land an unexpected interview with Jose Mourinho with only two minutes left before the end of last night’s Champions League programme on ITV.
“At that stage it was too late to arrange an over-run of the broadcast beyond the allotted time. However, in a very tight, live situation, we showed as much as we possibly could of their exchange to viewers.”
Clarke had asked Mourinho about the match, in which Real missed out on the Champions League final 4-3 on aggregate despite beating Borussia Dortmund 2-0 on the night.
He then asked: “Maybe next season with Real?” to which Mourinho replied: “Maybe not... I want to be where people love me.”
To viewers’ surprise, Clarke then ended the interview abruptly saying: “We’ll take that as England. We’ve got to go.”
The decision to cut short the interview was immediately the source of much criticism on social media site Twitter.
Later, in a press conference, Mourinho hinted of a possible return to England, perhaps with former club Chelsea. “I haven’t made a decision because I have a contract here [with Madrid],” he explained. “In football people break contracts when they want to but more than the contract, it’s the respect I have for the club and for the players.
“I know that in England I am loved by the fans and the media, who are fair with me. They criticise me when they have to but give me credit when I deserve it.
“I know I am loved by some clubs, especially one, but in Spain it’s a bit different. Some people hate me, many of them are in this room [Spanish journalists], so its difficult for me because I like the club.”
Mourinho stressed he would not make any announcement until the end of the season, with Madrid still chasing silverware as they prepare for the Copa del Rey final against Atletico Madrid. “I want to play the final, finish the season, win the final and finish second, and then sit down with Florentino Perez, my president and my friend,” he said.
On the aggregate defeat by Dortmund, Mourinho added: “It’s not my culture to be satisified by not winning the competition but we know that it’s a difficult competition. You don’t win it when you want to, you win when things go your way.”