An interesting piece in the Independent has recently circled which discusses Jose Mourinho’s desperation to take over at Liverpool before we appointed Rafa Benitez in 2004.
They claim that he sent agent Jorge Baidek to meet Rick Parry, Liverpool’s CEO at the time, to alert us of the fact he was very keen on taking Gerard Houllier’s job…
“Liverpool are a team that interests everyone,” Mourinho said 15 years ago. “Chelsea does not interest me so much, because it is a new project with lots of money invested in it. It is a project which, if the club fail to win everything, then Abramovich could retire and take the money out of the club. It’s an uncertain project.”
Mourinho went on to win the Champions League in 2003/04 with Porto, but Liverpool decided on Benitez, who’d won back to back La Liga titles with Valencia, instead.
One of the reasons, the Independent states, is Benitez’s touchline and media behaviour was more in line with our club ethos than Mourinho’s, who’d been seen knee-sliding at Old Trafford just months beforehand.
The rest, of course, is history.
Mourinho did join Chelsea and won two Premier League titles, before embarking on a trophy-laden journey around Europe.
Liverpool won the Champions League under Benitez, but have not experienced a high of such magnitude since.
Mourinho has become an enemy of Liverpool in the meantime. Hopefully we can get one over Manchester United and their outspoken, once rejected boss, today.