MADRID, May 22 – Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has extended his contract for four more years, after taking the Spanish giants to victory in La Liga, the team said Tuesday.
“Real Madrid and Jose Mourinho have reached an agreement to extend the latter’s contract with the club until 30 June, 2016,” the club said in a statement published online.
The 49-year-old self-appointed “Special One” took Real Madrid to their 32nd league title last month, ending a run of three successive league crowns for bitter rivals Barcelona.
That made him only the fourth coach to have won four different league titles after taking the English, Italian and Portuguese crowns, along with Austria’s Ernst Happel, the late Croat Tomislav Ivic and Italian veteran Giovanni Trapattoni.
Mourinho, who joined Real in May 2010 on a four-year deal, said early in May he had no ambition to coach in new countries. Media reports had speculated on his returning to England.
During his first season at the club, critics said the Portuguese coach’s approach was too aggressive both on the field and in comments at press conferences about rivals and referees.
In one infamous incident in August last year when Barcelona won the domestic Super Cup against Real, a brawl broke out after Marcelo was red carded for a reckless challenge on Cesc Fabregas.
During the melee, Mourinho was shown on public television poking his finger into the eye of Barca assistant coach Tito Vilanova — who has since been promoted to the top to replace departing Pep Guardiola.
Asked about the incident at the time, which earned him a two-match ban, Mourinho famously asked journalists at a post-match news conference: “Pito Vilanova? I don’t know who this Pito is.”
Mourinho has been supported through thick and thin by Real president Florentino Perez.
Former Real director general Jorge Valdano had unsuccessfully argued against Mourinho’s appointment, but then found himself out of a job.
In May 2011 Perez terminated the position of director general occupied by Valdano to give Mourinho more autonomy, in what was seen as a victory for the Portuguese coach.
Spanish media reported at the time that Mourinho had demanded that Valdano, a former Argentine international, be dismissed as a condition for his staying on at the club.