Jose Mourinho recognizes that soccer’s growth in a giant country like the United States is good for the game, and that he has the skill set to help that progression.
The Chelsea boss made waves Tuesday when he admitted that coaching in MLS could be in his future. It won’t happen any time soon “for the same reason” he won’t be coaching a national team in the near future: his hunger for European glory remains intense.
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Mourinho said he recognized the good it does for MLS for men like Andrea Pirlo, Frank Lampard and others to go to the league while there is still demand for them in Europe. And that one day, that story could be his as well.
“Yes maybe I would like that one day but not now.
“For the MLS, yes, one day. But why not now? Because I want to be in the best competitions. I want to be in the Champions League, the Premier League, I want to have the biggest challenges.”
But Mourinho admitted he was attracted by the idea of helping the MLS develop.
“I would like to contribute with something where lots of people are loving the game,” he said.
“We feel we have to give something. Why not try to give something back?”
It’s easy as American soccer fans and writers to get caught up in the short-term, but the fact is that the money in the U.S. will continue to grow the sport here. Right now, that upper echelon is MLS in the U.S., and as “Soccernomics” taught us, countries like the States, India and China will one day call themselves among the big shots.
So why wouldn’t Mourinho want to play a part in that one day, even if that day could be a decade or more away?
It would be a real test of what a manager means to a football club to see how Mourinho would far in the somewhat salary-shackled world of MLS. Surely he’d be a big market boss, but that means something different in the North American soccer than Europe.