Defiant Mourinho - 'I think I'm still special'

September 25, 2007

Jose Mourinho insists he is still the 'Special One' despite having left Chelsea.

The Portuguese, who departed Stamford Bridge by mutual agreement last week, made his now famous proclamation upon his arrival in England and believes he proved himself to be just that during his three-year stay.

The Blues enjoyed the most successful period in their history under Mourinho's stewardship, the former Porto manager leading them to their first league title in 50 years in his first season in charge before repeating the feat the following campaign.

'I took a chance in saying that I was special, but I think there are now a lot of people who would sign up to that,' Mourinho told Portuguese newspaper Maisfutebol.

'I think I'm still special. I achieved good things and it was a fantastic period in my career. I'll try to forget the bad things and remember the good ones, which are endless.'

Mourinho, who has been replaced by Avram Grant, admits the past week has proven an emotional experience but insists he will always remember his relationship with the club's players and supporters.

'Yes, I cried,' he said. 'I tend to say that I have a family at home and another at work. I've always had a relationship of love with the players and fans. I won't forget them and they won't forget me.'

During Mourinho's reign Chelsea were never beaten on home soil in any of their 42 home league matches and Blues' fans chanted their former manager's name during their defeat to Manchester United on Sunday.

Mourinho said: 'The fans never left Stamford Bridge crying, because we never lost. We beat the record and the day they lose a match at home they will remember they were three years without losing a single league game there.

'Here (England), the culture is not one of change. Sir Alex Ferguson was at Manchester United a lot of years without winning titles, I think it was three years in a row, and he continues in his job. (Arsene) Wenger's already in his third year without winning titles and continues in his work.

'If it were for the fans I'd have a contract for 20 years. Here the culture is different. People like me and there is an excellent relationship.'