Madrid - While Barcelona teammates Xavi, Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta face off for the FIFA-backed Ballon d'Or award for player of the year, Spanish sports magazine Marca reported on Monday that Real Madrid would get in on the act with Jose Mourinho pipping Spain's Vicente Del Bosque as best coach.
Just hours before the winners were unveiled at a ceremony in Zurich, Marca said it had exclusive details on Mourinho getting the nod.
"Marca can exclusively reveal that Jose Mourinho has won the accolade of best coach of the year," said the magazine on its website.
The report ran counter to one carried in Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport on Sunday that claimed Del Bosque would win on the basis of leading Spain to their first World Cup triumph.
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola is a further contender.
Mourinho guided Inter Milan to an historic treble last season of the Champions League, Serie A title and Italian Cup, and this season hopes to become the first man ever to coach three different clubs to a Champions League win, having first won the competition with Porto.
In typically punchy fashion he insisted last month that he was truly deserving of the honour.
"Me, I've made my choice. 11 months of work, 57 matches played, three titles including the most important of all, 'THE' tournament, the Champions League. I have won everything, I could not do any more than that, equally so for the players."