Real Madrid Boss Leaving, Bound for England
Madrid — Jose Mourinho will leave Real Madrid after three years as coach, paving the path for his return to England and a second stint as Chelsea’s manager.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez announced at a news conference following a board meeting yesterday that a mutual agreement was reached for Mourinho’s departure.
The 50-year-old Portuguese coach has two matches remaining in a season that will end on June 1 without Madrid winning a major trophy.
Mourinho will leave having won only two major titles, the 2011 Copa del Rey and the 2012 league championship, and he failed to deliver the club’s much-desired 10th European Cup. He was ejected from Friday’s 2-1 loss to Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey final.
“This has been an insufficient season for us and also for Mourinho himself,” Perez said.
Mourinho’s locker room appeared to splinter this season as he benched goalkeeper Iker Casillas, the captain of Madrid and Spain’s world and European championship teams.
“To spend three years in a first-division Spanish club is not easy — I share his reasons for wanting to leave,” Perez said. “The level of pressure has increased, so much that this is what has happened now. … He may have made some mistakes and asked for forgiveness, but the level of pressure Mourinho has been under has been unusual.”
The agreement indicates the colorful and outspoken coach can return to Chelsea after a six-year absence without any compensation from the London club to Madrid. It was at Chelsea where Mourinho became the self-dubbed “Special One.”
Chinese Teen Enters Memorial
Dublin, Ohio — Fourteen-year-old golf sensation Guan Tianlang will play in the Memorial Tournament next week.
The Chinese amateur has accepted an exemption for the event at Muirfield Village. Memorial founder and host Jack Nicklaus met with Guan’s parents at the Masters and has said he hoped the phenom might play at his tournament, which runs from May 30 to June 2.
Last month, Guan became the youngest player to make the cut in a major championship when he finished 58th at the Masters. He also made the cut at the PGA Tour stop in New Orleans but missed weekend play at last week’s Byron Nelson.
Military Bowl to Annapolis
Washington — The Military Bowl is moving this season from RFK Stadium in Washington to Navy-Marine Corp Stadium in Annapolis, Md.
The Military Bowl will match a team from the Atlantic Coast Conference against one from Conference USA and will be played Dec. 27. ESPN will broadcast the afternoon game.
The bowl has been at RFK since its inception in 2008, and the switch is only for this upcoming season. But Annapolis is likely to become the permanent home, with bowl organizers negotiating contracts with conference partners for 2014 and beyond.
Navy-Marine Corp Stadium was renovated in 2004 and holds 34,000. RFK Stadium seats more than 50,000 for football. The Military Bowl’s average attendance has been about 27,000. Last season San Jose State and Bowling Green drew only 17,835.