Jose Mourinho has revealed that he turned down a big-money offer from the Chinese Super League in favour of taking up the challenge at Manchester United.
Big names such as Luiz Felipe Scolari, Andre Villas-Boas and Sven-Goran Eriksson have all taken up managerial roles in China over the past year.
The 54-year-old, ever since leaving Chelsea back in December 2015, has been approached by numerous clubs, but Old Trafford was always going to be his next destination after Louis van Gaal was dismissed in May.
And Mourinho, speaking after Man United’s 4-0 win over Wigan Athletic last weekend, noted that he was quick to turn down the financial benefits of working in China.
“I have already refused a big offer to go to China, but I don’t criticise anyone who decides to do it,” he said.
“It’s their choice, their life. Only they can decide what they need for their future. Other managers in the Premier League have been critical, but I am no critic.
“I am worried, because they can offer contracts that are impossible to offer in Europe. But in the end the player who wants to go is a player that maybe you don’t want to keep.
“Imagine the guy who is 24 or 25, and he wants to go? At 24, or 25? OK, goodbye, be happy… The player who is 31 or 32, and they go for a few years and then come back with a bank account full, OK.
“But when they are young and they have a chance to be in the best competitions, and they still decide to go, well maybe it is better that they go.”
The Chinese Super League is quickly morphing into something of a draconian overlord in the world of modern football. It is, in many ways, a system that functions in accordance with today’s turbo-capitalist society: money as not just an incentive but indeed a prime object in itself, distinguishing between individuals bound to the game strictly through financial greed as opposed to an overall love of the sport.
And Mourinho, somewhat unsurprisingly, has placed emphasis on the importance of taking up a major challenge as opposed to taking up a major pay-check – a decision that very much falls in line with his serial winning mentality as a manager.