JOSE MOURINHO teared up in an interview as he admitted he misses football – as one ex-player called for the legendary boss to return to the game.
The Special One, 56, has been out of work since December when he was sacked as Manchester United boss and replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
And it is clear he is desperate to get back into a dugout before too long.
Mourinho said: “I was just enjoying. The moment I went to professional football was when I had the click.
“Now, it’s serious, it’s serious stuff and it has been serious stuff until now. Non stop.
“And now I stop, and instead of enjoy it, I can’t really enjoy it. I miss it.”
Since leaving the Red Devils, Mourinho has entered the field of punditry and was snapped up by Sky Sports for their coverage this season, starting off with the United-Chelsea clash last week where Red Devils fans sang his name.
His eight month absence is his biggest break from the game since the gap between leaving Chelsea in September 2007 and joining Inter Milan in June 2008.
He joined Real Madrid from Inter and then Chelsea from Real Madrid before five months off ahead of taking the Old Trafford job in May 2016.
RETURN WHEN IT’S RIGHT
In the interview with Sky Sports, Mourinho admitted he was keen to get back involved in the game but only with the right club after rejecting big-money offers from China.
He told Sky Sports: “This is basically the first time I have time to think, the first time I am in (home town) Setubal at the end of July or beginning of August in more than 20 years.
“I have some time to think, to rethink, to analyse and what I feel is exactly that ‘Ze’ 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.”
He added: “Why do I say ‘no’? I say ‘no’ because it’s not the level of challenge that I want.
“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.”
And clearly one of his former players want him back in the game.
Cesc Fabregas, who won the Premier League with Mourinho at Chelsea, led the calls for the Portuguese to return.
He shared the interview and wrote: “Legend. We miss you too. Come back soon Mister.”
Plenty of Monaco fans replied calling for Mourinho to replace Leonardo Jardim.
The Ligue 1 side have lost their two opening matches this season 3-0 and there are already calls for Jardim to be sacked again.
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User Polo Maruwa added: “One of the most passionate managers out there. I really miss JM in top football.”
Another said: “I really feel for him to be honest. May not have liked him but his passion for football is unquestionable.”
A third wrote: “I know he’s super annoying when he’s a rival manager, but I hope he is able to find a job which makes him happy again. He’s one of the greatest managers of all time.”