La Liga - Mourinho to coach Real Madrid

Reuters - Wed, 26 May 18:46:00 2010

Real Madrid have sacked coach Manuel Pellegrini and will appoint Jose Mourinho once they have reached agreement with Internazionale.

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Following weeks of frantic media speculation, Real ditched Chilean Pellegrini in favour of the flamboyant Mourinho, who led Inter to the Champions League title and the Italian league and cup double last season.

President Florentino Perez told a packed news conference in the bowels of the Bernabeu stadium that the 47-year-old Portuguese would join Real once the club had agreed with Inter on terminating his contract.

"I am ready to admit to some mistakes but the hiring of Mourinho, one of the world's best coaches, is an opportunity that this Real Madrid, which always fights for excellence, could not afford to miss," Perez said.

"We are absolutely convinced that we need a fresh impulse and that a coach like Mourinho can be the person to take charge of the squad for the next few years," he added.

"Madrid bets on stability but stability for the fans is winning and being leaders. Stability is not about keeping on a coach."

Construction magnate Perez said he hoped to complete the deal for Mourinho soon, adding that he had not yet spoken to the former Porto and Chelsea coach about potential additions to the squad.

Pellegrini left Villarreal to join Real last June, becoming the cornerstone of Perez's big-money bid to bring trophies back to the Bernabeu.

Perez invested  £211.5 million in players, including a record £79.5m on Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo., and vowed to build a "spectacular sporting project" to put the club back at the forefront of European and world football.

Pellegrini was charged with rebuilding the nine-times European champions and making them into a team capable of challenging Barcelona while entertaining a hugely demanding and impatient fan base.

But Real were dumped out of the Champions League by Lyon at the last-16 stage, humiliated by third-tier Alorcon in the Copa del Rey and ended the season three points behind La Liga champions Barca.

"We thought it through a lot and it's not just the fact that we didn't win any titles," Perez said.

"We believe that it's the right moment to give a fresh boost and bet on one of the best coaches in the world."

Mourinho said earlier on Wednesday it would be "impossible" for him to stay at Inter.


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