Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho has no intention of retiring as a coach any time soon, with the Portuguese tactician stating that he could have 10 to 15 years left in his career.
One of the most successful and respected trainers in the game, Mourinho has won trophies in every country he has worked and could be forgiven for a loss of motivation after amassing such an impressive haul of silverware.
The 57-year-old insists that is not the case, however, with his mission to deliver glory at Spurs just the latest task on his agenda as he plans to continue plying his trade potentially into his 70s.
“I’m 57, very young in relation to my job, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I have 10-15 years ahead of me,” Mourinho said at Web Summit, the world’s largest annual tech conference.
“There is a difference between success and a successful career. I always believe that there is a huge difference. Success is a moment. Success can be related with your talent, but can be just the fact you are in a certain place in the right moment, in the right time.
“Another thing is a successful career, which is based on year after year after year, I always wanted that kind of career. It’s part of my DNA. If I love what I do, if I feel fresh, it’s motivation, I always like to take players into a different dimension.
“I know that people probably don’t think this about me but I consider myself a very humble person, I always try to learn, I always try to be better and this is a kind of job where experience only can make us better. I really believe today I’m much better than I was 10 or 20 years ago.
“Everybody says my career is long, which is true, but I don’t see the end. I feel exactly the same passion, the same desire to learn every day. I think it’s just a pleasure. My white hair for sure has nothing to do with a stressful job!”
Mourinho’s journey to becoming one of management’s all-time greats is all the more impressive given how difficult it was to become a top-level coach without having had a storied playing career – and he feels that will be remembered as something of a trailblazer.
“Today, people believe in different ways to become a football manager,” he said. “There are different ways to arrive there – 20-30 years ago the biggest barrier was the fact people were totally focused on former players.
“They forgot that with the evolution, with times, people studying and following an academic career and mixing an academic career with some football experiences – even if not at the top level as a player – [can still be a success].
“The fact that today any kid that loves football and is not hugely talented to become a top football player, any student who decides to go in another direction and goes to sports science, to football methodology and follows an academic career in the search of scientific knowledge can be as good or even better than others.
“That was the barrier I had, nowadays people don’t have anymore. Honestly, I think it’s quite a legacy that I leave behind.”