Some surprising news reaching us today: the Scrappy to José Mourinho’s Scooby, Rui Faria, is to leave his post as Manchester United assistant manager. It brings to an end a 17-year partnership that first began at Portuguese minnows União Leiria in 2001, and lasted through spells at Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Chelsea again, and United. In a statement posted on the official United website, Faria said:
“After a lot of consideration, and with a very heavy heart, I have decided the time is right for me to move on.
“I have had 17 years of incredible and unforgettable experiences. However, I have felt for some time that I would like to spend much more quality time with my family before pursuing any new challenge in my professional life.
“My heartfelt thanks go to the manager, Jose Mourinho, for the belief he had in me, all those years ago, when it all was just a student dream. I would like to thank him for the opportunity and confidence, for the knowledge and experience, but most importantly for his friendship.
“I would also like to thank Manchester United and all the clubs where I have had the privilege of working during this period. I would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to all the staff and players who, in different ways, have made an important contribution to my growth as a person and as a professional.
“I wish you all the best for the future, knowing that you will always be my close friends.”
If Mourinho’s comments are anything to go by, it seems like Faria is looking to make his own move into management:
“17 years… in Leiria, Porto, London, Milan, Madrid, London again and Manchester. Training, playing, travelling, studying, laughing and also a few tears of happiness.
“17 years and the kid is now a man. The intelligent student is now a football expert, ready for a successful career as a manager.
“I will miss my friend and that is the hardest thing for me, but his happiness is more important and, of course, I respect his decision, especially because I know that we will always be together. Be happy, brother!”
During his time alongside Mourinho, the 42-year-old Faria has courted some controversy, and earned a reputation as a fiery touchline presence. He was handed a six-game ban during Mourinho’s last spell at Chelsea for exploding at officials in a defeat to Sunderland at Stamford Bridge.
A reshuffle may well prove beneficial for all parties, but we must admit, we’re a little disappointed we’re not going to have Rui fighting our corner in the future. All the best!