MADRID - Real Madrid cemented Jose
Mourinho's enhanced powers on Friday, following the ousting of
director general Jorge Valdano in May, by naming the coach 'head of football operations'.
Relations between Mourinho and Valdano, a former Real player
and coach, broke down soon after the Portuguese arrived from
Inter Milan at the end of the 2009/10 season.
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President Florentino Perez eventually decided to get rid of
Argentine Valdano, favouring Mourinho and giving him more
wide-ranging influence as the club seek to end the domination of
arch rivals Barcelona and claim a 10th European crown.
In a brief statement on their website on Friday, Real said Mourinho's new title was rubber-stamped at
a board meeting the previous day.
In previous stints as manager of Chelsea and Inter, Mourinho
was used to more power and a freer rein than he was initially
given at Real.
According to media reports, he also harboured a grudge over
a newspaper column Valdano wrote several years ago criticising
his tactics at Chelsea.
Mourinho has been revamping Real's squad since his arrival
in the Spanish capital, bringing in players like compatriot
Ricardo Carvalho and German pair Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira for
his first season in charge.
Since the end of the 2010/11 campaign, when Real's only
silverware was the domestic cup, he has added another
Portuguese, defender Fabio Coentrao, and Turkish midfielders
Nuri Sahin and Hamit Altintop among others.
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