BENZEMA AND RONALDO HAIL MOURINHO
Jose Mourinho's decision to commit his future to Real Madrid for another four years has been welcomed by striker Karim Benzema, who has followed team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo in describing the record-breaking Portuguese as the "best coach in the world".
Mourinho, who signed an initial four-year deal when he joined the club in 2010, has agreed a contract extension that will tie him to the Bernabeu until June 2016.
That news should end speculation about Mourinho's future, with recent reports still linking him with the vacant managerial position at former club Chelsea.
It has also gone down well with Benzema, who after a difficult start to life at Madrid following his big-money move from Lyon in 2009 has flourished under Mourinho and last season scored 32 goals in all competitions.
The France international was quoted as saying at a promotional event in Paris: "He is the best coach in the world. He's given us things that we didn't have. I'm happy that he's continuing.
"We are making progress thanks to him, we've won the league."
Mourinho led Madrid to the Copa del Rey crown in his first season in charge and in the campaign just completed he guided the club to their first Primera Division title since 2008.
That success, which ended Barcelona's three-year reign as Spanish champions, saw Mourinho become the first coach to win the league in Spain, England (Chelsea) and Italy (Inter Milan).
The 49-year-old is also one of only three coaches to have won the Champions League with separate teams having led Porto to the crown in 2004 and Inter in 2010, while he has won numerous other trophies during a hugely successful coaching career that began with Benfica in 2000.
Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, like Benzema, believes Mourinho is in a class of his own on the world stage.
Asked who he felt was the better manager out of Mourinho and his former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, Ronaldo told Spanish newspaper AS: "Ferguson was like a father to me, he taught me many things, and I achieved a very nice part of my career with him.
"Mou, for his part, is the best coach in the world and to be with him now is great to be able to continue growing, it's very good working with him because he's the number one."
Mourinho joined Madrid soon after Inter's Champions League success in 2010, a win which saw the Nerazzurri became the first Italian team to win the treble having also secured the Serie A and Coppa Italia titles.
He became Madrid's ninth coach in six years as the nine-time European champions sought to end Barcelona's domestic and continental dominance.
In his first season in the Bernabeu hotseat, Madrid finished four points behind Barca in La Liga but did manage to beat Pep Guardiola's side in the final of the Copa del Rey - Madrid's first success in that competition since 1993.
Madrid were knocked out of that season's Champions League by their arch rivals, though, following two fractious semi-finals.
Madrid finally got their hands on a 32nd Primera Division title in Mourinho's second season in charge, however, after a record-breaking campaign.
They became the first Spanish club ever to reach 100 points in a top-flight season, finishing nine clear of Barca, while their tally of 121 league goals was also a record.
The capital club were unable to add cup success to that league triumph though, as the defence of their Copa del Rey crown was ended at the quarter-final stage by Barca while they were again knocked out of the Champions League in the semi-finals, this time by Bayern Munich.
Madrid's bid for a record 10th European Cup has been at the very top of the club's wish-list for a number of years now, but Ronaldo believes the wait will soon be over.
"We've been close this year, but we need to stay calm. The 10th will arrive in the next season or two. We know that everyone is focused on winning the Champions League. You notice it in the street, but we need to stay calm," he said.
Latest Football News at 09:59 BST