Miami (Florida): Jose Mourinho has a golden opportunity to make a point to Real Madrid when the Chelsea manager faces his old club in Miami on Wednesday. Mourinho will go head to head with Madrid in the final of the International Champions Cup just three months after his acrimonious departure from the Spanish giants.
After feeling unloved for much of his time in Madrid, the Portuguese coach is enjoying his second spell at Chelsea, where he is treated with total respect following his Premier League title triumphs in 2005 and 2006.
The hero worship that follows his every move in the Premier League is a far cry from the hostile reaction to his presence in Spain.
By the time he departed Madrid, Mourinho had made numerous enemies among the squad, with his decision to drop iconic goalkeeper Iker Casillas an especially sore point, as well as falling out with some of the club’s hierarchy, while fans jeered the manager in the final weeks of last season.
However, Mourinho’s exit and the arrival of the more affable Carlo Ancelotti as his replacement has been the trigger for the kind of spending spree that the out-spoken 50-year-old would have relished.
While Mourinho was always given fairly substantial funds for signing during his time at Madrid, since his exit Real owner Florentino Perez has given the green light to a spending spree that is likely to approach £150 million ($230 million, 170 million euros) by the close of the transfer window. In a bid to make a fresh start after Mourinho’s divisive spell, Perez has already splashed out £63 million on Asier Illarramendi, Isco, Daniel Carvajal and Casemiro. But the biggest purchase is still to come, with the nine-time European champions on the verge of signing Wales winger Gareth Bale.