Jose Mourinho: Thousands of Fenerbahce fans turn out to welcome new coach

Portuguese coach signs two-year deal to take over at Istanbul club

Powered by automated translation

Thousands of Fenerbahce fans turned out on Sunday to welcome Jose Mourinho as their new manager.

The two-time Champions League winning coach signed a two-year deal to take over the 19-time Turkish champions.

Mourinho had already received a welcome fit for a pop star when he touched down at an Istanbul airport before being driven to Fener's Ulker Stadium to be presented to thousands more alongside club president Ali Koc.

The Portuguese coach, who won the Champions League with Porto and Inter Milan, has not worked since his sacking by Italian Serie A side Roma in January.

“I want to thank you for your love. Normally a coach is loved after victories. In this case I feel that I am loved before the victories. That for me is a big responsibility that I feel,” Mourinho told the assembled crowd.

“I promise you from this moment, I belong to your family. This shirt is my skin. Football is passion and there is no better place to feel that passion.

“Since the moment I met the president, I wanted to play for you because you are the soul of the football club. I want to be the coach of all of you.

“I want to work in Turkish football. I want to help the Turkish league. But the most important thing for me is Fenerbahce.

“From the moment I sign my contract, your dreams are now my dreams.”

The Portuguese, 61, announced the latest move – his 11th club – in his career in a post on X on Saturday night from Wembley as he was acting as a television pundit for Real Madrid's 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final. He counts Real as one of his former clubs.

"Good evening Fenerbahce fans, see you tomorrow at Kadikoy [the Istanbul suburb where the club is based] and let's start our journey together," Mourinho announced.

Mourinho is scheduled to be presented to the media on Monday.

Mourinho, who enjoyed major success at Chelsea and Inter Milan, less so at Manchester United and Tottenham, was dismissed by Roma after two-and-a-half years in January with the club struggling in ninth in Serie A at the time.

He guided Roma to the inaugural Europa Conference League trophy in 2022 and the final of last season's Europa League.

Fenerbahce are hoping Mourinho still has some of his magic touch left as they take aim on next season's league title.

It is 10 years since Fenerbahce won the Super Lig. They finished second in 2023/24 on 99 points, three behind champions Galatasaray.

Mourinho replaces Turkish boss Ismail Kartal, who Fenerbahce parted ways with on Friday after only one loss in the league last season.

Updated: June 03, 2024, 12:05 PM