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Ballack: Mourinho has nothing to prove

ESPN staff
May 24, 2013
Jose Mourinho has been widely tipped to return to former club Chelsea © Getty Images

Former Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack believes Jose Mourinho will not have to prove anything in his next managerial position.

Mourinho is expected to return to his old Stamford Bridge stomping ground in the summer after it was revealed on Monday that he will leave Real Madrid at the end of the season.

The Portuguese coach had a mixed spell in Spain, winning a Copa del Rey, the Primera Division and the Spanish Supercopa in three seasons in charge, but falling at the semi-final hurdle in the Champions League in every campaign.

Despite not reaching the heights he scaled with his former clubs Porto, Inter Milan and Chelsea, Mourinho will not feel under pressure to win trophies in his next job, Ballack - who played for him at Chelsea - said.

"He is still young as a coach. He already won two Champions League finals," Ballack said at the launch of the adidas lab in London. "Not winning with Real Madrid, of course, is a disappointment for the club.

"But he showed he can do it with other clubs as well. That is why, maybe, he is now looking for a new challenge. I do not think he has to prove anything any more. But for yourself as a person, you want to improve all the time. You want to win every game, and that is what makes it so special and difficult.

"Around the media, the expectations are a part of football. I think Mourinho can handle it."

With Mourinho having secured legendary status for himself during his first stint at Chelsea, Ballack understands why he is keen to return.

"[He would be] Going back to a club where the fans love him, the club loves him but also English football loves him," Ballack said. "He is special and brings this little bit extra off the pitch as well. That is part of football today.

"If you see his success in club football over the last few years, it is fantastic. From my point of view, I can say I really enjoyed working with him. He was really professional."

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