Jose Mourinho says there is so much more to come from Real Madrid
REAL Madrid coach Jose Mourinho believes his team have played the best football in the world this year - and says they will only get better.
The Spanish champions announced yesterday they had agreed a contract extension that will tie Mourinho, who signed an initial four-year deal when he joined the club in 2010, to the Bernabeu until June 2016.
The 49 year-old led Madrid to the Copa del Rey crown in his first season in charge and in the campaign just completed he guided the club to their first Primera Division title since 2008.
Mourinho's men crashed out of the Champions League at the semi-final stage in each of the last two terms, but he claims they nevertheless will have gained many fans due to having played the best football on the planet.
"At the start of the campaign that's just finished I told my men I did not want to prioritise," he said.
"I didn't want to choose one championship over another. I've always said we have to improve collectively and individually, and that we must play football to win both games and supporters.
"I'm sure Real Madrid gained many supporters throughout the world this year because we played the best football in the world despite not winning the Champions League.
"But we did win the toughest league title with fantastic football, and I think that's what's most important. We have to keep it up."
Madrid got their hands on a 32nd Primera Division title after a record-breaking 2011/12 season.
They became the first Spanish club ever to reach 100 points in a top-flight campaign, finishing nine clear of Barcelona, while their tally of 121 league goals was also a record.
Their success saw Mourinho become the first coach to win the league in Spain, England (Chelsea) and Italy (Inter Milan).
And, ominously, Mourinho reckons the Madrid squad is still improving.
"I've always said this squad is young and that its' best years are yet to come," the Portuguese added.
"It isn't a squad with players on the verge of extinction or playing their final years of top tier football. The club, with its incredible social reach and structure, can adapt to the times and to what we're trying to do.
"As a manager, I always try to grow and improve. I've loved the professional experience I've had of working for different clubs in different countries and cultures, and to learn from that while giving my best. I've loved that process.
"It's different for me now because I'm thinking about a club long term, and that club is Real Madrid, which has been more demanding and has forced me to do my absolute best due to its difficulties.
"I've had to improve as a coach and a professional. I think it is the perfect challenge for the next four years because you always have to do more when things are hardest.
"I need these great challenges in the maturity of my career; I need things to force me to be better."