Jose Mourinho enjoyed a raucous reception as he watched a charity match from the stands on Sunday in his first appearance at Old Trafford since being named Manchester United manager.
Just nine days after the official confirmation of Mourinho’s appointment, the 53-year-old was in Manchester to give his support to Unicef, who use the Soccer Aid friendly to raise money for children in danger across the world.
The former Chelsea boss originally agreed to manage an “England” team consisting of former internationals, musicians, actors and other celebrities, against a Rest of the World team coached by Leicester’s Claudio Ranieri and featuring a host of retired legends.
But, following his move to United, Mourinho decided to save his first game on the home bench for the club’s clash with Everton in Wayne Rooney’s testimonial on August 3.
Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce took care of the match-day management duties instead, while Mourinho watched from the directors box as England won 3-2.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t be more involved tonight, but I’m 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 programme.
“But 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.”
Plenty of fans were waiting outside Old Trafford to greet Mourinho when he got off the England team bus and some in the stands held aloft signs and banners bearing his name.
Mourinho, hired to replace Louis van Gaal on a three-year deal, was given a loud reception from supporters, some of whom snapped up scarfs emblazoned with the new United manager’s name and face, and it didn’t take long for the Portuguese to make himself at home.