Jose Mourinho, who was sacked as manager by Chelsea in December, said he would be going back to Stamford Bridge with his new Manchester United team on Sunday with “no bad feelings”.
The Portuguese believes he can never be removed from the history of Chelsea, where he won three Premier League crowns in two spells in charge, and said he would always be grateful to the fans for their support.
“To be sacked is football,” Mourinho told Sky Sports television on Friday. “In modern football especially it can happen to anyone.
“If it was a club where I gave nothing, I think it would have been more difficult. When I leave a club when in two different periods I gave titles, and gave the fans some of the best moments they have had, then you leave with the feeling ‘I have done my job’,” Mourinho said.
“I don’t think they want to, but even if they want to, they couldn’t delete me from Chelsea history. They belong to my history too… no bad feelings.”
Mourinho, who was at the helm at Stamford Bridge in his first spell from 2004-07 and for another two and a half years from 2013-15, said he left the club in December without saying a bad word about anybody.
“The owner (Roman Abramovich) decided to sack me, the fans, they have no power,” he added.
“They showed day by day, match after match, that they wanted me but in this profile of club the fans have no power.”
Mourinho believes he will get a good reception from the Chelsea supporters on Sunday.
“I don’t expect a negative reaction, even going with a United badge,” he said. “There is no reason for a bad reaction.
“It doesn’t matter about their reaction, I’ll be grateful always. We shared so many unbelievable moments, historic moments… but what you keep is the bad moments where they stuck with me.
“We played a Champions League game at home last season after a home defeat. People were talking about a sacking and for the whole match they were just singing my name in support,” added Mourinho.
“There was never a bad word after a bad match or a bad result. I always felt incredible support during the bad moments so I shall be grateful forever.”
Chelsea are fifth in the Premier League table after eight games, two points and two places ahead of United.