“Never.”
The words of Jose Mourinho when asked if he was close to joining Barcelona as boss in 2008.
Much has been made of the sliding doors moment in the Blaugrana's history which saw them hire then managerial novice Pep Guardiola over Mourinho.
Transfers
Arsenal submit bid to Man City for Jesus – reports
16/06/2022 AT 12:30
Guardiola went on to deliver an unprecedented era of success at the club, cultivating the talent of Leo Messi who helped deliver two Champions League titles - in 2009 and 2011 - in three years.
Mourinho, who had famously worked at the Camp Nou as a translator and coach in the nineties, ended up on the other side of Spain's biggest sporting divide as coach of Real Madrid.
In that role, his regular match-ups with Guardiola created one of the most bitter rivalries of all time.
“They [Barcelona] asked me to do an analysis of the situation of the team in an ugly moment, a moment of transition from the bad to the good, it was difficult," Mourinho added while speaking to Movistar+.
“The person who asked me to do it was someone high up in the club. I did it, but nothing more.
"Then, fortunately for me, history took its course.”

Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola during their time as Real Madrid and Barcelona managers

Image credit: Reuters

There is invariably an element of mischievousness with Mourinho, and who knows what "fortunately" refers to.
But the element of bitterness he harbours towards Barcelona doesn't seem to have died down with time.
UEFA Nations League
England are boring? So what? Good football doesn’t win tournaments – The Warm-Up
08/06/2022 AT 08:08
UEFA Europa Conference League
Jose’s time to shine, as Klopp wins award that no one will debate - The Warm-Up
25/05/2022 AT 08:08