Mourinho: My wife stopped me from taking England job

The Portuguese coach came close to replacing Steve McClaren after the Three Lions missed out on Euro 2008 but was convinced international management wasn't for him
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has admitted that only his wife's intervention stopped him from taking the England manager's job in 2007.

Having been sacked following a sad end to his first spell at Stamford Bridge, the Portuguese coach was in the frame to replace Steve McClaren following the Three Lions' failure to qualify for Euro 2008.

And though he admits he came close to taking the role that would eventually be handed to Fabio Capello, the words of his wife Matilde made him realise international management wouldn't suit his style or personality.

"At that time I could not get an English club because of my contract when I left Chelsea. I couldn’t get an English club in the next two years. I could get the national team but not a club," he told the Guardian.

"[Frank] Lampard, [John] Terry, Joe Cole, everybody, was saying, ‘Come, come, come'. My players said, ‘The guys from Manchester United and Liverpool call us and say to us: Tell your boss to come.’ I had lots of positive things to push me.

"My wife told me not to take it and she was right. We are talking about seven years ago and I cannot wait two years for a big competition. I cannot be spending two years playing against Kazakhstan and San Marino!

“What would I do during the week? I could go to see the players training with their teams, ask for permission to spend time with them and to have individual coaching with them.

"I have to work with them, I can improve things. I’m not going to stay at home, I have to travel, I want to see the players, I want to participate in their evolution blah, blah, blah, blah. But in the end my wife was saying: ‘No football, no matches, is not good for you.’

"And she was right. It was not the job for me seven years ago, it’s not the job for me now and I don’t think it will be the job for me in seven years’ time. Maybe in 15 years from now but not seven."

The 51-year-old will watch from afar as a number of his players take part in the World Cup in Brazil, and he admitted he would not be surprised if England won the competition, though he also believes it could all fall apart for Roy Hodgson's men.

He also backed Wayne Rooney to finally leave his mark on the world's biggest tournament after failing to score in his two previous campaigns.

"England is the kind of team [from whom] I am always expecting something good but I am never surprised when things go wrong.

"If England is world champion, it’s not a surprise for me. If England is knocked out in the group phase, it’s not a surprise for me.

"Wayne is right when he says this is his World Cup. He’s not a kid any more and he’s not an old player at the end of his career. It’s the World Cup in the right moment.

"He has a role as leader in the team and I think he is ready to cope with this pressure. Maybe the fact that the season was not good for him at [Manchester] United can also play a positive role.

"He will be ambitious and hungry to succeed."