LONDON (AA) – Manchester United has confirmed the appointment of Jose Mourinho as its new manager on a three-year deal.
Mourinho, who was sacked as manager of United’s arch-rivals Chelsea following a poor start to the last season, said it was a “special honor” to assume the new role.
The 53-year-old Portuguese replaces Louis van Gaal, who himself was dismissed on Monday after a disappointing season saw United fail to qualify for the coveted UEFA Champions League.
Mourinho said in a statement on Friday: “To become Manchester United manager is a special honor in the game. It is a club known and admired throughout the world. There is a mystique and a romance about it which no other club can match.
“I have always felt an affinity with Old Trafford; it has hosted some important memories for me in my career and I have always enjoyed a rapport with the United fans. I’m looking forward to being their manager and enjoying their magnificent support in the coming years.”
Mourinho has two Champions League victories – with FC Porto and Inter Milan – in his managerial career, as well as three Premier League championships with Chelsea. His appointment in place of van Gaal had been rumored in the British press for many months.
Manchester United vice chairman Ed Woodward described Mourinho as “quite simply the best manager in the game today”.
He said: “He has won trophies and inspired players in countries across Europe and, of course, he knows the Premier League very well, having won three titles here.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome him to Manchester United. His track record of success is ideal to take the club forward.”