Jose Mourinho admits he is missing football, however insists he is waiting for the ‘right opportunity’ as he plots his return to management.
Mourinho has been without a club since being sacked by Manchester United in December, with the Portuguese believed to have rejected several opportunities to return to the dugout.
The former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss admits he is ready to return to the pressures of management, revealing he still possesses ‘the fire’ to manage at the top level.
“This is basically the first time I have time to think, the first time I am in Setubal at the end of July or beginning of August in more than 20 years,” Mourinho told Sky Sports News.
“I have some time to think, to rethink, to analyse and what I feel is exactly that Ze (Mourinho’s childhood nickname) is full of fire!
“My friends tell me ‘enjoy your time, enjoy your July, enjoy your August, enjoy what you never had’. Honestly, I can’t enjoy. I am not happy enough to enjoy.
“I miss my football, I have the fire, I have a compromise with myself, with people that love me, with so many fans that I have around the world, so many people that I inspired.
“Ze has to be Ze and Ze until the last day, but I don’t see the last day because my next move will be like the start! I don’t feel it’s just one more year in accumulation of how many years I’ve worked, how many titles I’ve won. That is history, that is the museum!
“My future will start in my next move and, as I was saying, it looks a little bit ridiculous with so many beautiful things around me and so many things I didn’t [have] for so many years, but I can’t really enjoy my free time.”
Mourinho has been linked with the likes of Benfica, Inter Milan, Newcastle and Celtic since leaving Old Trafford, and admits his desire to work has made it difficult to say no to opportunities since his United departure.
The 56-year-old says his next job will be the ‘right opportunity’, with Mourinho believed to be seeking a role in one of Europe’s top five leagues.
“The most difficult thing for me is saying ‘no’ to the possibilities,” he added. “I had to work, because, inside of me, I [always] have that impulse of wanting to work. [If] I have an opportunity to work, [I want to say] ‘let’s work’. To say ‘no’ is very, very, very, very difficult.
“Why do I say ‘no’? I say ‘no’ because it’s not [at] the level of challenge that I want. But, with all respect to the possibilities I have had and the clubs involved, I want the right to choose the people who are ‘Mourinhista’ – like people say in Portugal, Spain and Italy – ‘Mourinhista’ is someone who is a fan.
“The ‘Mourinhistas’ want me where I belong, so, for me now, it’s not a question of [saying], ‘okay I have this offer and I’m going to take it’. I have to be patient and wait for the right opportunity and the right opportunity is one that is at the same size and the same level that I am as a manager.
“It is the most difficult thing because I have the impulse during this period, so many times to say ‘Yes, I go’. But no, I cannot go. I cannot go. I have to wait for the exact right one.
“I [have] never told who [is the right one]. I never do that. Lots of respect for the people that think I am the right guy for them and I never do that.”