at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Madrid – Jose Mourinho qualified his achievement in winning the English, Spanish and Italian league titles as being unbelievable on Sunday.
The 49-year-old Portuguese coach on Wednesday had taken Real Madrid to their 32nd league title and ended the run of three successive league crowns for bitter rivals Barcelona.
However, while that made him only the fourth coach to have won four different league titles - he had also taken Porto to the Portuguese crown - along with Austria's Ernst Happel, the late Croat Tomislav Ivic and Italian veteran Giovanni Trapattoni he was more content to take the plaudits for winning the big three.
“No coach has ever succeeded in winning the big three titles (England, Italy, Spain),” he purred to Spanish daily ABC.
“It was my ambition to do so. Its an unbelievable achievement both professionally and on a personal level,” added Mourinho.
Mourinho, who has also won the Champions League title with Porto and Inter Milan, said that halting Barcelona's dominance of Spanish football had not been his prime objective despite some fiery battles both verbal and physical on and off the pitch.
“My target in life is not to beat Barca,” he said.
“I have also lost to Barca and to lose to them doesn't make me any sadder than to lose against Bayern (who beat Real in the Champions League semi-finals in a penalty shootout).
“But winning this 'Liga' was important in terms of interrupting their winning cycle.
“It was important for Real, the most important club in history, to halt their dominance of the national football scene.”
Mourinho, who confirmed that he would be staying on in charge, told the publication that his strike force for next season would be Frenchman Karim Benzema and Argentinian Gonzalo Higuain, which should put a stop to speculation about the latter joining French side Paris Saint Germain.
“My two strikers for next season will be Benzema and Higuain,” said Mourinho.
“Higuain will remain here. He will stay because I do not want to let him go.
“And also Real do not want him to go. He has an even better contract than the others and even if we were to receive offers of 40, 50, 60 million euros, we would not sell him.”
Mourinho also had high praise for Benzema, whose 20 goals this season equals the total he recorded for his previous club Lyon in France in the 2007/08 campaign and added that it was mainly thanks to French great Zinedine Zidane that he had at last made his mark at Real.
“He (Benzema) knew how to overcome his demons from the first two seasons and has had a fantastic season,” said Mourinho.
Mourinho said that as regards the future once his time is up at Real he would look to continue at one of the top leagues. – Sapa-AFP