Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho says he would like to return to manage in England.
With Madrid 18 points off the lead in the Spanish title race and internal discontent clear it seems inevitable Mourinho will move in the summer.
Speaking ahead of the celebrations of the Football Association’s 150th anniversary, he hinted strongly that England would be his preferred destination.
“There could not be a better place to go,” said Mourinho in comments posted on the FA’s website on Tuesday.
“In England you feel the real passion for the game. It’s not just about passion for clubs; it’s mainly about passion for football.
“My memories are great. I loved it from the first day to the last.
I don’t regret my last day because after that I was lucky enough to enjoy Italy and to have and enjoy some success there and also in Spain.
“But I know that one day I will come back because English football means a lot to me.” Mourinho managed Chelsea from 2004 to 2007, winning two league titles.
He also won the FA Cup and it remains a tournament that is special to him. “I know what I felt when I had to go up the Wembley stairs to get the FA Cup,” he said.
“The FA Cup represents the passion of football. It represents clean football. It represents the good smell of football. If you are in England, you feel it. You feel proud to be in football — even in the worst moments.
“That’s pure football. That’s the football you play as a kid in the street transported through time and space into organised competition and into the real world of football.”