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A special mission for Mourinho – saving Serie A
Jose Mourinho, who hopes to sign Frank Lampard this week, sees winning trophies as just part of his job as the new coach of Inter Milan.
The former Chelsea and Porto boss also aims to help stuttering Serie A rule the roost like it did in the 1980s and 90s by serving up entertaining soccer and burying the troubled recent past.
Some English fans might question whether Mourinho has the credentials to preach the virtues of champagne soccer, given that his Chelsea side were not adverse to the odd ugly win.
Nevertheless, the arrival of one of sport’s most charismatic and successful personalities has already enabled the Italian top flight to regain some of the ground lost to the Premier League and Spain’s La Liga.
If the Portuguese makes a fraction of the big signings the media expect of him and Inter’s rivals splash out to keep up, so much the better for Serie A. A footballing renaissance could be on the cards.
Mourinho is also keen to do his bit in fighting hooliganism in Italy, speaking of the need to make “the fans more responsible and change their relationship with the police”.
He didn’t give details of how he could contribute to beating a problem numerous crackdowns and anti-hooligan laws have failed to solve, but Mourinho likes a challenge. If he can meet this one, it really would be something special.
Paul Virgo, Rome
PHOTO: Jose Mourinho is officially unveiled as coach of Serie A champions Inter Milan. June 3. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini