JOSE Mourinho has signed a new contract with Real Madrid which ties him to the club until 2016, the Primera Division champions have announced.
Madrid announced yesterday they had agreed a contract extension that will tie Mourinho, who signed an initial four-year deal when he joined the club in 2010, to the Bernabeu until June 2016.
That news should end speculation about Mourinho’s future, with recent reports still linking him with the vacant managerial position at former club Chelsea.
It has also gone down well with Benzema who, after a difficult start to life in Madrid following his big-money move from Lyon in 2009, has flourished under Mourinho and last season scored 32 goals in all competitions.
The France international was quoted as saying at a promotional event in Paris: “He is the best coach in the world. He’s given us things that we didn’t have. I’m happy that he’s continuing. We are making progress thanks to him. We’ve won the league.”
Mourinho led Madrid to the Copa del Rey crown in his first season in charge and, in the campaign just completed, he guided the club to their first Primera Division title since 2008.
That success, which ended Barcelona’s three-year reign as Spanish champions, saw Mourinho become the first coach to win the league in Spain, England [Chelsea] and Italy [Inter Milan].
The 49-year-old is also one of only three coaches to have won the Champions League with separate teams, having led Porto to the crown in 2004 and Inter in 2010, while he has won numerous other trophies during a hugely successful coaching career that began with Benfica in 2000.
Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, like Benzema, believes Mourinho is in a class of his own on the world stage. Asked who he felt was the better manager out of Mourinho and his former Manchester United boss, Sir Alex Ferguson, Ronaldo told Spanish newspaper AS: “Ferguson was like a father to me, he taught me many things and I achieved a very nice part of my career with him.
“Mou, for his part, is the best coach in the world and to be with him now is great to be able to continue growing. It’s very good working with him because he’s the number one.”
Mourinho joined Madrid soon after Inter’s Champions League success in 2010, a win which saw the Nerazzurri became the first Italian team to win the treble having also secured the Serie A and Coppa Italia titles.
He became Madrid’s ninth coach in six years as the nine-time European champions sought to end their great rivals Barcelona’s domestic and continental dominance.
In his first season in the Bernabeu hotseat, Madrid finished four points behind Barca in La Liga but did manage to beat Pep Guardiola’s side in the final of the Copa del Rey – Madrid’s first success in that competition since 1993. Madrid were knocked out of that season’s Champions League by their arch rivals, though, following two fractious semi-finals.
Madrid finally got their hands on a 32nd Primera Division title in Mourinho’s second season in charge, however, after a record-breaking campaign. They became the first Spanish club ever to reach 100 points in a top-flight season, finishing nine clear of Barca, while their tally of 121 league goals was also a record.
The capital club were unable to add cup success to that league triumph though, as the defence of their Copa del Rey crown was ended at the quarter-final stage by Barca, while they were again knocked out of the Champions League in the semi-finals, this time by Bayern Munich.
2002/03: Mourinho won the first of back-to-back Liga titles with Porto in 2003 when, in his first full season at the club, he helped them finish 11 points clear of his former club Benfica.
2003/04: It was an almost identical story the following season as Porto retained their title with an eight-point gap to Benfica after again losing just two matches. Mourinho also led Porto to the Champions League title that season before leaving to join Chelsea.
2004/05: Mourinho was an immediate hit in England as, in his first season, he led Chelsea to only the second championship in their history and first since 1955. The Blues lost just once in 38 matches to finish 12 clear of reigning champions Arsenal.
2005/06: As with Porto, Mourinho led Chelsea to successive Premier League titles following another dominant season which saw them finish eight points clear of Manchester United despite losing their final two games.
INTER MILAN (Italy)
2008/09: Having left Chelsea in late 2007, Mourinho took charge of Inter the following summer and again it did not take him long to work his magic as the Nerazzurri won the league in his debut season with a ten-point gap to Juventus.
2009/10: Mourinho’s Inter retained their title during a record-breaking season which saw them become the first Italian side to win the treble of Serie A, Champions League and Coppa Italia. That summer Mourinho left Italy to join Real Madrid.
REAL MADRID (Spain)
2011/12: Mourinho tasted league success in his second year at the club, following a campaign which saw them smash the club’s 51-year-old record of 168 competitive goals in a season and pass the Primera Division single-season record of 107, set by Madrid in 1990.