Jose Mourinho has confirmed he expects to return to England when he leaves Real Madrid - but not to join Manchester United because he expects Sir Alex Ferguson to carry on until he is 90.
Mourinho has fallen out of favour with the media who follow the Spanish giants, and, it is rumoured, many of his senior players.
The former Chelsea boss played down the depth of his so-called crisis.
However, ahead of tonight’s Champions League encounter with Manchester United at the Bernabeu Stadium, Mourinho said a return to England was on the agenda.
“Are you worried with my crisis? I am not,” he said.
“But I will go back to England after Real Madrid. We will see (when that is). I love everything (about England). England will be my next step.”
Mourinho has been heavily linked with Manchester City and Chelsea recently.
It has also been felt he would be of interest to Manchester United, even though club ambassador Peter Schmeichel has said the former Porto coach is not under consideration.
Mourinho doesn’t see himself being installed at Old Trafford either, mainly because he expects Ferguson to continue for a good while yet.
“No,” he said, when asked if he could replace Ferguson.
“I don’t believe so. I think we have to end our career at the same time. Him at 90 and me at 70.”
Nevertheless, Mourinho is under immense pressure to win this tie, which he believes “the whole world is watching”.
With the La Liga title on its way to Barcelona, it is hard to see Mourinho surviving much longer if he fails in the quest to land a record 10th Champions League crown for Real.
“There are great clubs in the world who have never won this competition,” he said.
“Real Madrid have won nine, I have won two. Real Madrid wants to win its tenth. I want my third.
“If it comes this year good. If not, I will try again next year. I don’t think I will end my career with only two titles.”
Although it didn’t look it, Mourinho insists he is still enjoying his work and midfielder Michael Essien claimed the manager always has a smile on his face.
However, there is no escaping his fractious relationship with those who follow Madrid’s fortunes so closely, as he pointed out when asked to comment on the Spanish newspaper depiction of Wayne Rooney as a “hooligan” this morning.
“I didn’t read it,” said Mourinho.
“I don’t know if it was written in that context, calling him a hooligan, or completely different.
“But if I can say one thing on behalf of Rooney, I was called worse than that, week by week.”
Cristiano Ronaldo has set his sights on becoming Real Madrid’s all-time record goalscorer after moving up to joint sixth in the club’s charts with his hat-trick against Sevilla at the weekend.
The Portugal international took his tally of hat-tricks for Madrid to an incredible 20 in the 4-1 win and continued his phenomenal scoring form for the Spanish giants.
Ronaldo has netted 182 goals in just 179 official matches for Madrid since his world-record £80million move from Manchester United in 2009, moving him level with Gento on the club’s all-time list.
Next in the firing line for the 28-year-old is Hugo Sanchez (208 goals) followed by Ferenc Puskas (242), Carlos Santillana (290) and Alfredo Di Stefano (308). Top of the list is Raul, who scored 323 times in 741 matches before leaving Madrid in 2010, and it is that tally that Ronaldo is eyeing.
He said; “It’s an honour to be one of these legendary scorers and to be one of the top-scorers. To make this list in the short time I’ve been with the club, to see my name associated with these players is a reason to be proud, motivated and happy.
“I’ve always said that records are made to be broken, not just by myself but by the next generation of players.
“I’m happy to have beaten these records and I’m happy to have reached these numbers. What I want more than anything is to keep on going and try for first place.”
That suggests Ronaldo sees his long-term future at the club, something that has been a matter of debate in recent months.
Emilio Butragueno, who is eighth on the list with 171 goals and is now a director at the club, certainly hopes the Portuguese ace remains at the Bernabeu for many years to come.
He said: “Cristiano Ronaldo is amazing. We’re extremely proud that he plays for Real. His ambition is perhaps one of his greatest virtues. He wants to get better and he takes each game as if it’s a personal challenge.”
“Having a player that guarantees a goal per game is a problem for rivals because it means that they have to score two to win. Very few teams throughout history can claim the same.
“I hope he stays that way for years because he’s very important to us.”