Mourinho said yes to Liverpool
Jose Mourinho had an agreement to join Liverpool in 2004 to replace Gerard Houllier, only for Chelsea and Roman Abramovich to come in with a much bigger offer, a new book, “Mourinho: Behind the Special One, from the origin to the glory,” reveals.
In April 2004, with his Porto squad facing a crucial Champions League quarterfinal against Lyon, Jorge Baidek, Mourinho’s adviser at the time, held a meeting at the Portuguese team’s hotel.
“Mourinho should have gone to Liverpool. Rick Parry [then chief executive] was in charge of transfers and we had an agreement. They asked us to wait for 15 days as Houllier was still the Reds’ manager,” Baidek said.
Mourinho was set for Anfield, with French agent Bruno Satin also involved in discussions.
However, agent Jorge Mendes came in with a much better offer from Chelsea, the book claims. Although he had not worked with Mourinho before, the offer he brought to the table was much bigger than the one from Merseyside.
Mourinho met new Chelsea owner Abramovich for the first time on the eve of Porto’s Champions League semifinal against Deportivo La Coruna at the beginning of May, followed by another meeting on the Russian billionaire’s yacht in Monaco the day after Porto won the Champions League.
And the rest is history. — Julien Laurens
… And saved a teammate from a burning car
The book on Mourinho also details a dramatic incident from his playing days in the 1980s when he saved a teammate’s life by pulling him from a burning vehicle.
Mourinho, 23 at the time, was the captain and centre-back at Comercio e Industria, a small club in Setubal, Portugal.
One of the club’s forwards, De, was signed to help Comercio e Industria back into the professional league and then leave for a bigger club. One morning, just as the striker parked his car in the stadium’s car park for training, it caught fire.
Mourinho, the book says, saw the horror unfolding and rushed to the car as it was in flames to get his unconscious teammate out and save his life.
“He was heroic,” Fernando Lage, the club’s president at the time, says in the book.
“He saved my life,” De tells the author. — Julien Laurens