Axed Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho last night admitted: “I wish I had quit the club last season.”
And the Special One revealed: “I had offers from other clubs at the end of last season, I wish I had left Chelsea then.”
Mourinho received a staggering £12million pay-off from Roman Abramovich, a deal that included a gagging order restricting him from revealing what really happened behind the scenes at Stamford Bridge.
But that did not stop him aiming a bitter swipe at the Chelsea chiefs who axed him – by taunting: “You had no history until I arrived.”
He is seething at the lack of gratitude shown by Abramovich and the Chelsea board for bringing the club back-to-back titles.
Mourinho touched a raw nerve by claiming Chelsea were a club with a “small history” – having won their only previous league title back in 1955.
And the Special One claimed he does not care what happens to Chelsea in the future, despite his close bond with the Blues players.
Mourinho said: “My feelings are simple. Chelsea was a club with a small history, with frustration, without Premier League titles, until we arrived here and we won two titles.
“In my first year, we brought tears of joy because no one had seen Chelsea as English champions before and that formed a big part of the history of the club. The future of Chelsea doesn’t interest me now. Win, lose, play well, buy, sell – it doesn’t mean absolutely anything to me.
“The whole club was not a real club. We had fractures. Everyone has responsibilities. I am a man of war in competition. But in life I am a man of peace.”
Mourinho warned he could come back to raid Chelsea for players for his next job on the continent. He said: “Would I sign Chelsea players at my next club? I would never say never. It depends on the needs of the new club.
“I could have players with the same determined qualities that the Chelsea players possess or I might not. But a club like Chelsea are economically powerful so they don’t sell their most powerful players easily.”
Mourinho backed up Chelsea’s claim that he had left the club by mutual consent after his relationship with owner Abramovich had broken down irretrievably. He said: “I wasn’t sacked and I didn’t close the door. If I wanted to close the door I would have done and I could have taken one of the many offers I had at the end of every season.
“If Chelsea wanted to sack me they could have done it. When people don’t want to sack you and when the manager doesn’t want to close the door, it can go on and on.
“I think it was the best solution. I know the fans were crying but I was crying too. That’s not the point. I still had to go. You know the way I work, with a lot of passion and emotion – with a work ethic.
“I believe it’s a never-ending relationship I will have with the fans. In 10 years’ time I will love the fans and they will love me. In 10 years’ time I will love the players and they will love me. I had so many good things here, especially in my personal life and that’s what is difficult now.”
Mourinho insists he has no job lined up and wants to enjoy a break – but there is little doubt he will be back at a major club before long with Inter Milan already having registered an interest.
He said: “I won’t go to another game before I have a job otherwise people will speculate why I am there.
“Now I have to go and enjoy my life. I will wait for work. I just hope in the next one I am surrounded by love, so that I can express my qualities as a manager.