LONDON (AFP) – Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has claimed he was close to taking charge of England in 2007 before realising he would be bored by the low-key nature of international management.
The Football Association maintained Fabio Capello was always their first choice to succeed Steve McClaren following England's failure to qualify for Euro 2008.
But Mourinho, who returned for a second spell in charge of Chelsea in June after leaving Real Madrid, insists he was in talks with the FA six years ago and briefly considered accepting the job.
However, with only a relatively small number of internationals scheduled for each season, the Portuguese coach decided he would miss the frenetic pace of club management too much.
"My plan at that time was just to try to motivate myself for a job (with England) that doesn't fulfil me," Mourinho told the Independent.
"What do I do? During the day I'm not training players, so I have to go and see them train in their clubs. I have to send my goalkeeper coach to work separately. I have to do this, I have to do that.
"At weekends, I see every match. I need a good apartment. I need to analyse and monitor the players.
"When they were speaking to me, the next match was France against England, a friendly in Paris. I thought, 'France-England' (is an attractive prospect)'.
"After that, what's the next game? The next was one month later against Kazakhstan - no, no, no, no. We have contact and I thought about England. I was very young and I was very proud."