Tag Archives: connections

Jose Mourinho: Chelsea will always be in my heart

Chelsea remain in my heart, says Mourinho as Abramovich closes in on deal to bring back Special One

By
Richard Sharpe

PUBLISHED:

14:04 GMT, 26 March 2013

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UPDATED:

14:09 GMT, 26 March 2013

Jose Mourinho has fuelled speculation he will return to Chelsea next season, saying the club remains in his heart and he has 'big emotional connections' with Stamford Bridge.

It comes amid rumours that a deal to bring the Portuguese back to the London club is as good as complete following discussions with owner Roman Abramovich.

Tellingly, the Real Madrid manager played down persistent rumours he will join Manchester United, calling it 'Sir Alex's Kingdom' and willing Ferguson to continue in the job for many years to come.

Return: Jose Mourinho has said Chelsea remains 'in his heart' as speculation of a second spell at Stamford Bridge grows

Return: Jose Mourinho has said Chelsea remains 'in his heart' as speculation of a second spell at Stamford Bridge grows

In an interview with Sky Sports News recorded in London, Mourinho said: 'I can't deny in spite of this disgraceful weather I love it here and I have a house.

'I have big emotional connections with Chelsea, and one day I think naturally I have to be back to English football to Chelsea or another club.

'Chelsea means for me different than other clubs. It's in my heart as Inter is for example. One day I have to be back.'

Mourinho had been due to return to Stamford Bridge last night, as Brazil played Russia in a friendly match.

Despite being on the guest list of the Brazilian FA, there were no sightings of the 50-year-old in the stands.

However, it is now widely reported that a deal to replace Rafa Benitez at his former club is close to being agreed.

Good times: Mourinho with his Chelsea team after winning the Premier League title in 2005

Good times: Mourinho with his Chelsea team after winning the Premier League title in 2005

Reunion: Mourinho is believed to be close to agreeing a deal with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich

Reunion: Mourinho is believed to be close to agreeing a deal with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich

In the long-term though, many believe he will succeed Ferguson at Old Trafford when he eventually retires.

On the subject, Mourinho said: 'I was in Manchester three weeks ago with much nicer weather.

'I had a lot of fun with Sir Alex, texting him on the day of the match – I said, 'what is this fantastic sunny weather in Manchester' It was really good.

'I think Manchester is Sir Alex's Kingdom and I would love that job to be forever, of course it can't but I would love it for many more years.

'In the other chair is Roberto Mancini, with a contract, he was champion last year so I don't think there is a move over there.

Kingdom: Mourinho said he wished his friend Sir Alex Ferguson could carry on forever at Manchester United

Kingdom: Mourinho said he wished his friend Sir Alex Ferguson could carry on forever at Manchester United

'I hope everything goes well for everybody, even Benitez. I hope everybody finishes the season well. I wish for them the same I wish for myself to finish the season well.'

Mourinho added he still has unfinished business with Real between now and the end of the season.

'At the end of the day, I am in Madrid and I am very committed to the rest of the season.

'We are in the last eight of the Champions League and we have a [Copa del Rey] final to play with Atletico.

'I am professional and at the moment I only think about my job in Madrid.'

Reading sign Pierce Sweeney from Bray Wanderers in Ireland

Reading hope new signing Sweeney will follow in footsteps of Doyle and Long

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UPDATED:

20:25 GMT, 6 July 2012

Reading have signed teenage defender Pierce Sweeney from League of Ireland side Bray Wanderers.

Sweeney, 17, made 12 appearances for Bray last season and is a Republic of Ireland youth international.

Sweeney follows in the footsteps of compatriots Shane Long and Kevin Dole, who arrived Reading from St Patrick's and Cork respectively.

Bargain: Shane Long was a big hit at Reading after moving from Ireland

Bargain: Shane Long was a big hit at Reading after moving from Ireland

He said: 'I'm absolutely delighted, it's a big dream of mine and the best moment of my career so far.

'There are a good few Irish connections here which helped to attract me to the club. There are plenty of players who have come from the League of Ireland and made the step up at this club, breaking into the first team, so it's something I want to aim for.'

Director of Football Nicky Hammond said, 'At the age of 17, Pierce is a young player with great potential and one that we've identified and watched over a long period of time.

'He is entering an excellent environment, and I know he will work extremely hard to try and realise his ambitions.

'The recruitment of young talent is massively important for us going forward, and after doing well in men's football in the League of Ireland he will now come into our development group.'

Reading have also been linked with re-signing former full-back Nicky Shorey.

The 31-year-old was released by West Brom on a free transfer.

Barcelona v Chelsea: Referee must be strong – Petr Cech

The ref must be strong! Cech says official will play key role in Chelsea's Euro dream

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 23 April 2012

Petr Cech has claimed referee Cuneyt Cakir could be a key figure in Chelsea's quest to beat Barcelona and reach the Champions League final.

Cech called for a strong performance in the Nou Camp and turned up the heat on Cakir, the 35-year-old Turk who will be in charge of his first Champions League knockout tie.

Key role: Cech reckons the referee could be a key figure in tonight's Champions League clash

Centre of attention: Cech reckons the referee could be a key figure in tonight's Champions League clash

Making his point: The Czech Republic stopper knows a clean sheet will see Chelsea progress

Making his point: The Czech Republic stopper knows a clean sheet will see Chelsea progress

'The referee can be a big part of the game,' said the Chelsea goalkeeper. 'You could see that in the past. There were great games between us and Barcelona but there was controversy, over-shadowing the great games. We have an experienced Turkish referee and, if you have experience refereeing Galatasaray and Fenerbahce, a game between Chelsea and Barcelona should be fine. I'm sure he will have the same professional approach as we had in the first game, which was without controversy.'

Cakir's appointment has added fuel to conspiracy theories because it was made by a committee headed by Senes Erzik, also a Turk, with business connections to Barca's sponsors Unicef.

Fever pitch: Chelsea prepare at the Nou Camp for tonight's crunch tie

Fever pitch: Chelsea prepare at the Nou Camp for tonight's crunch tie

Jose Mourinho caused a storm last year when he questioned the link between Erzik and Barcelona after Real Madrid had lost to their Spanish rivals in the Champions League semi-final.

Five Chelsea players are a booking from a ban which would rule them out of the final but Roberto Di Matteo said: 'We will just have to play without thinking about it. They know who is at risk. A lot of them have played here before, so it's not a new environment.

The perfect setting: The Nou Camp will play host to tonight's Champions League showdown

The perfect setting: The Nou Camp will play host to tonight's Champions League showdown

'We know what to expect. It is going to be a big crowd and we have to make sure we stay cool on the pitch.'

Di Matteo played when Chelsea surrendered a 3-1 first-leg lead to Barcelona in 2000 after a red card for Celestine Babayaro.

Didier Drogba was sent off the last time the Blues lost in the Nou Camp, seven years ago. Other recent clashes have been marred by controversies surrounding referees Anders Frisk and Tom Henning Ovrebo and Barca were unhappy with Drogba's play-acting at Stamford Bridge last week.

Last night, with tongue in cheek, Barca defender Gerard Pique said: 'Every time Drogba fell down it was because he was in pain or felt a kick on him.

'I don't think that, when Drogba fell down, he was trying to act or dive. 'If he keeps doing it, you might think that's the case but I believe in his honesty. 'If not, we will start to talk about football being all about cheats. Football is not like that.'