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Mourinho claims to have turned down England

Jose Mourinho claims to have changed his mind at the last minute, snubbing the England job in favour of more regular football at club level. Fabio Capello was then appointed to succeed Steve McClaren in 2007 after the national team failed to qualify for Euro 2008.

Mourinho was a free agent at the time, having left Chelsea two months, but the Portuguese tactician instead made a late decision to snub England and opted for Inter Milan, where he enjoyed Treble-winning success, before moving on to his current job at Real Madrid.

Mourinho told l'Equipe: "I was hours away - I almost signed up for the England national team.

"But at the last minute I began thinking, 'I am going to coach a national side, there will be one match a month and the rest of the time I will be in my office or overseeing matches.

"And then to have to wait until the summer to compete in a European Championship or a World Cup'? No, it wasn't for me.

"So at the last moment I pulled back, preferring to wait for the right job to come along, a good club, a challenge that could motivate me. That was Inter (Milan)."

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Dave Williams

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