José Mourinho faced the media on Friday lunchtime in a press conference dominated by talk of his future at Real Madrid and his achievements during his tenure at the Santiago Bernabéu.
Can you confirm that you're leaving? "I'll sit down with the club president [Florentino Pérez] and with [director general] José Ángel Sánchez, and we'll talk about my future. Not just as president, director general and coach, but as friends. We'll talk and we'll decide. There are five league games and one game in the Copa [del Rey] to go."
What's it like working amid rumours about your future? "The same as always. I think that in football it happens at practically all clubs. You look at Paris [Saint-Germain] and they say that Carlo [Ancelotti] is leaving. You look at Bayern [Munich], who have broken records in winning the Bundesliga, and their coach is being replaced by [Pep] Guardiola. You look at Manchester City and Roberto [Mancini] is leaving. You look at Chelsea and you see that [Rafa] Benítez is leaving, to be replaced by me or whoever. Many clubs are in similar situations. Some clubs are going to make a change, others aren't. The coaches work with the utmost professionalism. As coaches, we adapt. I have the pleasure and the honour of working for this club. I'm not as happy, because I lost a knockout tie a few days ago and you don't forget a sad fact like that in two days, but I keep on working."
Would your decision to leave be because of the press? "No, I don't feel any pressure at all. Pressure isn't a problem for me. My decisions have nothing to do with pressure because I don't feel any pressure. I have always lived like this. Our job is full of risks; it still is today, now that I have a lot of ex-players who have become coaches and all say the same: how easy it is to be a player and how difficult it is to be a coach. They tell me that it changes your life. That's why I tell my players to enjoy their lives as players."
What are your reasons for leaving? "It isn't worth talking about whether I'm leaving or not. And if I do leave, I won't tell you [the press] why I'm leaving or not. I have always left clubs on good terms. Although it seemed controversial, my departure from Chelsea wasn't. There have been no negative words or criticism for any of the clubs I have left. Quite the opposite. And the day I leave Madrid it won't be any different. The day I leave, be it this season or in one or two seasons' time, there'll be no interviews or criticism coming from me. Life is beautiful, life in football is fantastic, one stage finishes and another begins, one era ends and others begin. Always with the maximum respect for clubs."
Aren't you tempted to stay and try and win the club's tenth European Cup? "I just want Madrid to win it. Chelsea didn't win it when I was in charge and I was really thrilled when they won the Champions League. When I work at a club, I start to love that club. I don't care who the coach is, who the president is. The day I leave Madrid, it'll have a special place with me. I want Madrid to win its tenth European Cup. If that's with me, perfect. If not, then with another coach. I love this club, that's the way it is. I'm happy when Chelsea win. That's what I'm like. When I leave a club, I want it to do well, not badly. If Madrid win their tenth European Cup, that'll be a source of happiness for me."
Is your decision to leave final? "I haven't made a decision on whether to leave or not. The first to know will be my wife and children."
What would you change about your time at the club? "I would be more active, more forceful. If I could, I would have been more demanding, more determined at the end of my first season here. I would have brought in Diego López at the end of my first season. I wanted him but I didn't do enough to get him. That's a shame."
On winning La Liga with 100 points last season and failing to fight for the title this term: "We got off to a bad start in La Liga, we've paid the price for that. I agree that we should have been in the hunt for the title for more of the season, and we shouldn't have fallen behind so early on. I don't think the record of 100 points is easy to beat. Barcelona could reach that total this year, and if they do it'll be because they are probably the best team in the last 20 or 30 years. Now they have had a couple of results which weren't so good and weren't expected, they're not a good team anymore according to you. I take pride in having beaten their hegemony on a domestic level, because at international level it was Internazionale [under Mourinho in 2009-10] who managed it. I repeat that Barça are still a fantastic side."
Why Barça were allowed to run away with the title so early on: "We were sad at the start of the season and it's difficult to catch up when you have a rival that drops so few points and you give them a head-start."