Mourinho hired to revive fading Man United

by

May 28, 2016
@Normal:New Manchester United's new manager Jose Mourinho.
FILE- In this Sunday, October 26, 2014, file photo, the then Chelsea's manager Jose Mourinho, left, greets Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal, before the English Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England. (AP Photo)
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MANCHESTER, AP:

Manchester United needed a serial winner to restore the team's status as a European powerhouse. Jose Mourinho craved an iconic stage like Old Trafford to remind the world of his rare talent as a coach.

It's been inevitable for some time that England's most prestigious club would come calling for football's most successful current manager, and confirmation arrived yesterday.

United announced the long-awaited hiring of Mourinho on a three-year deal, ushering in an exciting era not just for a club that has slumped as a domestic force since Alex Ferguson's retirement in 2013 but for the soap opera that is the Premier League.

"Jose is quite simply the best manager in the game today," said United executive vice chairman Ed Woodward, after enticing the Portuguese coach on a reported annual salary of PS12 million ($17.5 million).

The stats might just back it up: Mourinho is a two-time Champions League winner, with FC Porto and Inter Milan. He has won eight league titles since 2002 across four countries (Portugal, England, Italy and Spain), three of them coming in the Premier League with Chelsea.

For all his faults, he is as close as it gets in football to being a guaranteed trophy winner. And, these days, that is all United wants.

For a club of United's global standing, it has been a disappointing three years since Ferguson's trophy-filled 26-year tenure ended. David Moyes, Ferguson's handpicked successor, lasted 10 months and Louis van Gaal was fired on Monday after an underwhelming two years in charge.

The 20-time English champions have finished seventh, fourth and fifth in the Premier League and won't even be in the Champions League next season.

Mourinho, with his win-at-all-costs attitude, is the perfect quick fix for United.

Mourinho first came to global prominence in 2004 when, as Porto coach, he charged down the touchline at Old Trafford in celebration of a winning goal by his team against United in a Champions League match. Twelve years later, he returns to the stadium as United's manager.

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