Chelsea FC have appointed José Mourinho as their new manager on a three-year contract following the dismissal of Claudio Ranieri.
Mourinho, 41, had long been linked with a move to the Premiership club after a hugely successful spell with FC Porto which culminated in their UEFA Champions League triumph last week. With the two clubs agreeing compensation over the remaining two years of his contract at the Estádio do Dragão, Mourinho flew to London yesterday ahead of today's announcement.
Never a top-level player, Mourinho worked with Sir Bobby Robson at Sporting Clube de Portugal, Porto and FC Barcelona. After an unsuccessful spell at SL Benfica, he first found individual coaching success with UD Leiria. Mourinho left Leiria for Porto in January 2002 and won the domestic double and the UEFA Cup in his first full season, following it with another championship and victory in the Champions League.
"Chelsea represents a fantastic challenge for me," Mourinho said. "It is a great club with a world-class squad of players. The plans and ambitions for Chelsea excite me and I am sure they will do the same for the fans whose incredible support I have already witnessed."
He added: "My biggest ambition is only to win the first Premiership match of next season," he said. "We have top players and, I'm sorry to be arrogant, we have a top manager." Mourinho also hinted that he would cut the size of Chelsea's squad. "I want 21 outfield players and no more," he said. "This is the correct amount for the very specific work we want to do."
As part of the deal, Chelsea and Porto will work together to develop new Portuguese talent. "Porto announce the establishment of a partnership with Chelsea for a period of five years, with exclusivity in the Portuguese market, with respect to the detection, training and promotion of young talent," a club statement said.
Chelsea finished second in the 2003/04 Premiership and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League under Ranieri after a summer spending spree of more than €150m. The Italian coach, who had been in charge since September 2000 and had three years of his contract to run, has hinted that he would like to stay in England, although he could return to former club Valencia CF.
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