Mourinho: I want to coach a national team but Portugal 'very difficult'

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Jose Mourinho has outlined his ambition to coach a national team at some point in his career, though the Tottenham boss is not certain taking charge of Portugal would be a wise choice.

Mourinho has spent all of his managerial career to date at clubs, having spells at Benfica, Porto, Chelsea, Inter, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Spurs.

Though he is in no rush to call time on his time in club management, the 57-year-old disclosed he does wish to step into international coaching eventually.

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"Yes, I want to coach a national team, I want to have the experience of a World Cup and European Championship, the emotion of the short competition," Mourinho told a news conference ahead of Spurs' Europa League qualifier against North Macedonian side Shkendija.

However, Mourinho is not convinced coaching his home nation would be the best choice.

"Is Portugal the one I want do do? On one side yes as it is my heart," he added. "But it is very difficult to do it with the country you were born in."

The head coach, who returned to his news conference to field a question from a Macedonian journalist whose late father idolised him, is also anticipating a tough test for Spurs on Thursday.

"My experience in football, I celebrate the 20th anniversary of my career, lots of experience, played lots of teams that nobody knows in top football," he said.

"They can be very dangerous, same way it was difficult in Plovdiv. Is the Europa League a competition that we want very, very much to go to the group phase? Yes, it is.

"I think from my experience, and even you without experience in this chair, as a journalist, you can perfectly feel it's much more difficult this knockout than the group phase of four teams and six matches.

"The six matches give us a little space for a mistake - for example, at [Manchester] United, we lost two matches in the group phase, we won four and we progressed - so we cannot take many risks with these matches.

"Even playing with a very strong team like we did in Bulgaria, we were 15 minutes away from a defeat and being knocked out."