Mourinho gets warm welcome at Fenerbahçe

Mourinho gets warm welcome at Fenerbahçe

Mourinho gets warm welcome at Fenerbahçe

Former Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho was unveiled as the new coach of Fenerbahçe on June 2 night, tasked with winning the club a first league title since 2014 after six runner-up finishes.

“I promise you that from this moment I belong to your family,” Mourinho told thousands of fans at Şükrü Saraçoğlu Stadium on Istanbul’s Anatolian side.

“The Special One” triggered huge cheers by picking up the Fenerbahçe jersey and saying “This shirt is my skin.”

Mourinho arrives at the storied Istanbul club one week after it was edged yet again for the Turkish Süper Lig title by its archrival Galatasaray, which has now won it five times in the past 10 years.

Fenerbahçe missed out in the title race despite a points tally of 99 and losing only one league game all season.

Fenerbahçe President Ali Koç believes that the Portuguese coach will end the club’s longing for a league trophy.

“We already have a very strong roster, and hopefully we will keep all our players in the sqaud unless there is an extraordinary offer,” Koç said at the signing ceremony.

“We are already the champions of this year. The championship we all want next year will be the harbinger of the trophies to come.”

After days of strong indications Mourinho was to take charge, Fenerbahçe announced in a social media post early on June2 that the Portuguese manager was to attend a ceremony at its stadium.

Mourinho was later photographed getting off an airplane that Fenerbahçe posted with the simple message “THE SPECIAL ONE,” a description he gave himself on arriving at Chelsea 20 years ago, leaving Porto as a new Champions League winner.

Now aged 61, Mourinho should lift the profile and status of a club that never won a European title and will enter the Champions League in the early qualifying rounds in July.

Mourinho has won Champions Leagues with Porto and Inter Milan, the Europa League, or its predecessor the UEFA Cup, with Porto and Manchester United, and a Europa Conference League with Roma two years ago.

He has coached teams to win eight domestic league titles in Portugal, England, Italy and Spain.

It’s his first job since he left Roma in January after two and a half years marked by the Europa Conference League title in 2022 and a series of disputes with referees.

The Portuguese has not worked outside of the top five European leagues since 2004, when he left Porto after winning the Champions League and joined Chelsea, which was on the rise under then-owner Roman Abramovich.

Since then, he has also coached Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Tottenham in a career filled with trophies and off-field controversy.

It would surprise few people if Mourinho and Fenerbahçe is a combustible mix in a fiercely passionate football city.

Fenerbahçe clashed with Turkish football authorities last season, including by taking its team off the field during a Turkish Super Cup game in protest.