LONDON: Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has revealed that his wife, Matilde, was responsible for his decision to turn down the role of England head coach in December 2007.
Mourinho, who is in his second spell at Stamford Bridge, claims that he was considering an approach by the Football Association to succeed the sacked Steve McClaren, only for his wife’s reservations to deter him.
“It was the right decision. My wife was right. She told me not to take it,” Mourinho told reporters in London.
“We are not speaking about the job today. We are talking about seven years ago, and I cannot wait two years for a big competition.
“I cannot be spending two years playing against Kazakhstan and San Marino,” added Mourinho, who had left Chelsea by mutual consent in September 2007.
The FA ultimately appointed Italian Fabio Capello, who remained in the role until 2012, while Mourinho went on to join Inter Milan.
Mourinho, who also revealed that the terms of his severance deal with Chelsea prevented him from joining another English club, said that his former players had encouraged him to take up the role.
“(Frank) Lampard, (John) Terry, (Ashley) Cole, everybody was saying: ‘Come, come, come, everybody from other clubs wants you to do it,'” the 51-year-old said.
‘The guys from Manchester United and Liverpool call us and say to us: ‘Tell your boss to come, they want you to take it.”
“I had lots of positive things to push me, and that’s why I was so close. But my wife was right.
“It was not the job for me seven years ago, it’s not the job for me now, and I don’t think it will be the job for me in seven years’ time. Maybe in 15 years from now, but not seven.”
Asked how close he had come to becoming England manager, Mourinho held an imaginary pen six inches above an imaginary contract and replied: “This close.”