Mourinho says his move to Fenerbahce will increase attention on Turkish league

Fenerbahce coach Jose Mourinho
Fenerbahce signed a contract with the world-renowned coach Jose Mourinho in front of thousands of fans at Ulker Stadium on June 2, 2024 in Istanbul, Turkey. After the signing ceremony, Coach Jose Mourinho waved to the fans. 

Newly announced Fenerbahce manager Jose Mourinho said Monday that his signing and reputation would bring more attention to the Turkish league, adding that his aim was to win the Super Lig and make it to the Champions League group stage next season.

Mourinho, 61, was unveiled as Fenerbahce manager in front of thousands of enthusiastic fans. The Portuguese manager had been out of a job since being sacked by Italian Serie A side AS Roma in January.

Speaking at a press conference at Fenerbahce's facilities in Istanbul, Mourinho said he was making "zero promises" apart from "huge commitment and passion, and work and empathy", adding that his ambition in coming to Turkey was "to feel the heat".

"One of the things is, I bring attention in with me. More people in Europe will follow the Turkish league," Mourinho said. "I'm coming to work for Turkish football, for Turkish Super Lig. But fundamentally I come for Fenerbahce.

"My wish is that Turkish football improves at every level. But if I have to raise my voice to defend Fenerbahce I will not think twice," he added, in an apparent reference to the club's complaints over what it calls unfairness.

The Super Lig was marred by controversies last season, with a spate of violence and disputes overshadowing the narrow title fight between Fenerbahce and bitter rivals Galatasaray.

Galatasaray clinched the championship last month, on the final matchday of the season.

Mourinho said the upcoming European Championship would limit training and that he would be able to make squad changes only at the start of next season, adding that his main goals were winning the league and making the Champions League group stages, for which Fenerbahce will play playoffs.

"When people look at me -- I did six finals, I won five of them -- people think immediately big but I think we have to go step by step, and of course the qualifications and playoffs are going to be hard simply because we have no time to prepare," he said.

Asked how he would teach fans to be patient, after the club's failure to win a championship for more than a decade, Mourinho said the fans had to be "crazy" and "demanding".

"You can't teach what doesn't belong to the culture and that is what makes it fun," he said. "I want that passion."

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