Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho has admitted he would have been the "proudest man in the world" had he accepted the chance to become England manager before Fabio Capello was appointed in 2007.
Speaking ahead of Wednesday night's Champions League clash between his current side Inter Milan and his former club Chelsea, the Portuguese coach recalled how close he was to agreeing to replace Steve McClaren just months after walking out on the Blues.
"I could have been England manager," he proclaimed.
"I was, at that time, maybe the proudest manager in the world because, especially for a foreign coach, to have the possibility of leading a country like England, I was the proudest man in the world.
"I thought and thought and thought and and I was fighting with myself because one side wanted and the other side knew it was not the job for me, for my mentality, for my passion of football, for training every day."
Mourinho's words appeared tinted with a touch of regret, although he stands by his decision to remain a club coach and believes Capello is the right man for the job.
"It was not the job for me and I decided it was not to be," he said.
"It was a good decision, England chose a very good experienced manager who is doing a great job.
"And, because I love England, I hope he keeps doing very, very well and keeps having the dream and, why not, the reality of making something very, very important for your country.
"So I think it was a great decision to have a very good coach and I hope everything goes well."
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