José Mourinho, one of European football's most successful managers, was appointed Wednesday to replace the sacked Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham, with a brief to revive the fortunes of a club languishing in the lower reaches of the Premier League.
The Portuguese former Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Manchester United manager signed a contract until the end of the 2022/23 season, the north London club said in a statement.
"I am excited to be joining a club with such a great heritage and such passionate supporters," said Mourinho, who has won domestic league titles in four different countries – Portugal, England, Italy and Spain. "The quality in both the squad and the academy excites me. Working with these players is what has attracted me."
Argentine Pochettino was sacked on Tuesday, with Tottenham struggling in the league after picking up just three wins from their opening 12 games.
The 47-year-old had transformed Spurs' fortunes after arriving from Southampton in 2014, and although he failed to win a trophy he took the club to the Champions League final for the first time in their history just six months ago.
This season they were knocked out of the League Cup by fourth-tier Colchester United and suffered an embarrassing 7-2 defeat at home to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
That form has continued at the start of this season and Mourinho arrives with the club 11 points outside the Premier League top four, 20 behind leaders Liverpool and just six points above the relegation zone, though they are well-placed to reach the last 16 of the Champions League despite the Bayern humiliation.
Levy said the club had been "extremely reluctant" to make the change, pointing at the poor domestic results.
The job done by Pochettino was all the more remarkable given the tight budget he was afforded by Levy for transfers and wages in comparison with Tottenham's Premier League rivals, as the club built a new stadium at a cost of more than £1 billion ($1.3 billion).
Instead, much of Pochettino's success came from nurturing a squad of young players into household names such as Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen.
Spurs and England forward Harry Kane paid a warm tribute to Pochettino.