Manchester United has hired Jose Mourinho as its new manager, entrusting one of soccer's most successful coaches to restore the fortunes of England's most prestigious club.

United announced the long-expected appointment of Mourinho on an initial three-year contract on Friday, four days after firing Louis van Gaal.

The 53-year-old Mourinho, who has been out of work since being fired by Chelsea in December, is the third manager at United since Alex Ferguson ended his trophy-filled 26-year reign at Old Trafford in 2013. David Moyes, Ferguson's hand-picked successor, lasted 10 months and Van Gaal had two years.

The Portuguese coach has won the Champions League twice. He has also won the Premier League title three times with Chelsea, as well as domestic league titles in Portugal, Italy and Spain.