By Kris Voakes
It was announced last week that the Portuguese coach will part ways with the capital club this summer ahead of an expected return to former club Chelsea for the 2013-14 season. But while many have claimed his reign in Madrid to have been a failure, his time with the club has been reasonably successful according to Laudrup.
The ex-Real Madrid and Barcelona midfielder told Goal: “I think it was difficult attempting to compete with Barcelona in the last few years, but they’ve done quite well. They won a league, a cup, and reached three semi-finals of the Champions League, one of which they lost only on penalties.”
Laudrup explained that he sees Mourinho’s departure as part of the natural course of football coaching in the modern game, with the former Inter boss set to take charge of his final game at Madrid in the home clash with Osasuna on Saturday.
“The biggest clubs in Europe, whether they be Barcelona, Madrid, Manchester United or Chelsea, always want to win whatever they are participating in,” he said. “They always want more, which is why you sometimes see that rotation of managers at the big clubs.
Mourinho's time at Real Madrid
|127||Mourinho has won 127 of his 177 games in charge of the capital club - a win percentage of 72 per cent.|
|3||The Portuguese has won three trophies in his three years at the Bernabeu, lifting La Liga, the Copa del Rey and one Supercopa.|
|16||Mourinho has faced Barcelona 16 times in three years, winning five, drawing five and losing six Clasico encounters.|
|97||The sum in euros 'The Special One' has spent on players in three seasons with Madrid.|
“Everyone knows they are good managers, but if you don’t win one year sometimes you are given one more year and then you pass on to the next big team and it’s between those seven or eight top managers we have right now.”
The Swansea City manager also says it is too early to suggest that Italian and English clubs are falling behind their Spanish and German counterparts, despite Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund playing out this season’s Champions League final after seeing off Barca and Madrid respectively in the last four.
“I think you have to be very careful about what you say after just one season,” claimed Laudrup. “There are many who want to change and have everything like German football, but let’s wait. Let’s see what happens next season.
“If something happens for one season, for me it is a coincidence. Twice, we can start talking about it. Three times? Yes, it’s different, but if we start saying the English teams have gone and then Chelsea and Manchester United make the final, then what? Then we have to change opinion again. We have to wait for next season and see what happens.”
Having enjoyed a successful first season with the Jacks, finishing ninth in the Premier League and winning the Capital One Cup to earn the Welsh club a first ever major trophy, Laudrup has been linked with the vacant Madrid job among others. But when asked whether he might be open to moving away from the British Isles once more in the near future, the ex-Mallorca boss warned that it is difficult to judge what his next step may be.
"I don't know. When opportunities are there and you've been asked something concrete, then you can make up your mind, but not before."