Newly appointed Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho appeared to be enjoying his new “home” as he watched the 2016 Soccer Aid charity match from the Old Trafford Directors’ Box.
As the cameras panned on the former Chelsea boss, he was given a loud reception from the crowd, some of whom had already snapped up club scarves emblazoned with Mourinho’s name and face.
The Portuguese tactician had originally agreed to manage the England side consisting of former internationals and celebrities, including singer Robbie Williams and actor Damian Lewis, against a Rest of the World side led by Claudio Ranieri and featuring the likes of Ronaldinho, former jockey AP McCoy and Kasabian guitarist Sergio Pizzorno.
However, after signing a three-year contract with United, Mourinho decided to save his first game in charge for Wayne Rooney’s testimonial against Everton on August 3. Sunderland’s Sam Allardyce took over the match day duties in place of the 53-year-old.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t be more involved tonight, but I am so happy and involved at the beginning of my job at Manchester United that all the time I have right now is working time,” Mourinho wrote in the match day programme.
“I love the boys at Soccer Aid so much – the atmosphere and especially the cause – that I couldn’t be away on the day of the game.”
This isn’t the first time Mourinho has grabbed the Soccer Aid headlines after running onto the pitch and tripping over pop star Olly Murs back in the 2014 edition of the event.
The England side need not have worried about missing Mourinho as they defeated the Rest of the World 3-2.
The Three Lions took the lead in the 50th minute thanks to a bullet of a free kick from TV personality Mark Wright.
A quick brace from former United and Tottenham Hotspur striker Dimitar Berbatov gave Ranieri’s side a one-goal lead before strikes from super-sub Jermain Defoe secured victory for England.