Jose Mourinho has been appointed as Chelsea manager for a second time, the Premier League club confirmed on Monday. Following weeks of speculation, the 50-year-old Portuguese has signed a four-year contract with the club he previously coached between 2004 and 2007.
In an interview with Chelsea TV, the club's in-house television channel, Mourinho said his time at the club had left a deep impression that endured throughout his subsequent tenures at Inter Milan and Real Madrid.
"It is exactly the same message, but now I can say I am one of you (supporters) and that makes a little bit of a difference," he said. "I never hide that in my career in football I had two great passions - Inter and Chelsea, and Chelsea is more than important for me.
"It was very hard to play against Chelsea. I did it twice, which was not so bad. Now I promise exactly the same things I promised in 2004, but with the difference we have (now), which is I am one of you."
In a statement published on the Chelsea website, chief executive Ron Gourlay outlined the reasons behind the appointment.
"I am delighted to welcome Jose back to Chelsea. His continued success, drive and ambition made him the outstanding candidate," he said. "It is our aim to keep the club moving forward to achieve greater success in the future and Jose is our number one choice as we believe he is the right manager to do just that.
"He was and remains a hugely popular figure at the club and everyone here looks forward to working with him again."
Mourinho arrives from Real Madrid, where an initially fruitful three-year spell ended in acrimony following an unsuccessful league title defence, a semi-final exit in the UEFA Champions League, and the alienation of senior players including goalkeeper Iker Casillas.
Prior to joining Madrid, he enjoyed a stunning two-season stint at Inter Milan that culminated in an unprecedented treble of Serie A, Italian Cup and Champions League trophies in 2010. He succeeds interim manager Rafael Benitez, who led Chelsea to UEFA Europa League glory and Champions League qualification this season after replacing the sacked Roberto Di Matteo in November.
Mourinho's first spell as Chelsea manager saw the club emerge as the dominant force in English football. Backed by the investment of billionaire Russian owner Roman Abramovich, Mourinho won back-to-back Premier League titles in 2005 and 2006, as well as two League Cups and the 2007 FA Cup.
He left in September 2007 after his relationship with Abramovich broke down but the pair soon reconciled and he returns with the objective of turning Chelsea into title challengers once again. Mourinho has brought coaches Rui Faria, Silvino Louro and Jose Morais with him from Madrid and will be officially presented to the media next Monday.