The question on every football fans mind is, “Has José lost his charisma?”
He’s widely known for his controversial, “Press Conferences” when he arrived at Chelsea for
his first spell at Stamford Bridge in 2004. Jose told reporters in his inaugural press conference that he thought of himself as the “special one” – his famed moniker has stuck with him in the years since.
The Special One
José Mourinho is a Portuguese professional football manager and former player who is the
current head coach of Serie A club Roma. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest
managers of all time and is one of the most decorated managers ever.
After an uneventful career as a midfielder in the Portuguese leagues, Mourinho moved into
coaching, first as an interpreter for Sir Bobby Robson at Sporting CP and Porto, before
gaining success as an assistant at Barcelona under both Robson and his successor, Louis
van Gaal. After impressing with brief stints at Benfica and União de Leiria, Mourinho
returned to Porto as a manager in 2002, winning the Primeira Liga twice, a Taça de Portugal,
the UEFA Cup, and the UEFA Champions League, Porto’s first European Cup title since 1987.
That success earned him a move to England with Chelsea in 2004, where he won two Premier League titles, a FA Cup, and two League Cups in his three seasons at the club before he departed in 2007 amid reports of disagreements with the club owner Roman Abramovich.
2000/01 – Benfica
Mourinho takes his first senior job, promoted from the assistant manager after Jupp Heynckes’ dismissal. He first falls out with the board after refusing to hire their assistant manager pick, calling him “a donkey who worked for 30 years and never became a horse.” After a positive start, Mourinho asks for a contract extension and resigns when it’s refused.
2001/02 – Uniao de Leiria/Porto
Mourinho agrees to a deal to become Uniao de Leiria’s head coach and takes the minnows to third by January. Their shock success prompts a struggling Porto to hire him mid-season. He takes them from fifth to third and promises to win the Primeira Liga next year.
2002/03 – Porto
With a team built around the likes of Ricardo Carvalho, Deco, and Helder Postiga, Porto storm the league, finishing 11 points ahead of Benfica. Their 86 points become the highest Portuguese points tally in the 3-points-per-win era. They win the cup and beat Celtic in the UEFA Cup final to complete a famous treble.
Honors: Primeira Liga, UEFA Cup, Taca de Portugal, UEFA Manager of the Year
2003/04 – Porto
Last season’s heroics are unthinkably surpassed by Jose’s first Champions League trophy, with the most memorable win coming in the quarter-final against Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United. The image of Mourinho sprinting the length of the field after Porto’s late winner becomes the defining picture of Porto’s European fairytale.
Honors: Primeira Liga, Champions League, Portuguese Super Cup, UEFA Manager of the
2004/05 – Chelsea
Mourinho agrees to replace Claudio Ranieri at cash-rich Chelsea. He instantly makes waves, calling himself “The special one” in his first press conference, a nickname that would persist throughout his career. His Chelsea side wins the title with 95 points, only conceding 15 goals, both Premier League records. He’s denied back-to-back Champions Leagues by Liverpool’s Luis Garcia’s “ghost goal” in the semi-final.
Honors: Premier League, League Cup
2005/06 – Chelsea
Mourinho wins back-to-back Premier Leagues, finishing on 91 points, but is unable
to challenge on other fronts, getting knocked out by Barcelona in the Champions
League. Upon the Premier League trophy presentation, he bizarrely throws his
blazer, medal, and replacement medal into the crowd.
Honors: Premier League, Community Shield
2006/07 – Chelsea
Andriy Shevchenko is the big-name signing over the summer, but tensions grow between Mourinho and Abramovic when Shevchenko doesn’t perform and Mourinho prefers Didier Drogba. For the first time in his career, he doesn’t finish as league champion, finishing second to Manchester United, but he wins both domestic cups.
Honors: League Cup, FA Cup
2007/08 – Chelsea
Mourinho sensationally leaves Chelsea a month into the season after mounting tensions between him and Abramovic, heightened by Avram Grant’s appointment as sporting director. Grant takes Mourinho’s job and leads Chelsea to their first-ever
Champions League final.
2008/09 – Inter Milan
Mourinho takes the Inter Milan job and speaks fluent Italian in his first press conference despite saying he’d only been learning it for three weeks. He instantly clashes with his rivals managers, famously claiming they’d win “no titles,” but mispronouncing it. The phrase caught on so much it was used on Inter celebratory t-shirts after winning the Scudetto by 10 points.
Honors: Serie A, Supercoppa Italiana
Mourinho builds one of his most iconic sides by bringing in the likes of Wesley Sneijder,
Samuel Eto’o, and Diego Milito. They retain the Scudetto and beat Roma in the Coppa Italia
final, before defeating Bayern Munich to become the first-ever Italian side to win the treble.
This is described as Mourinho’s successful Real Madrid job interview.
Honors: Serie A, Champions League, Coppa Italia, FIFA World Coach of the Year
2010/11 – Real Madrid
Mourinho is appointed Real Madrid boss and is touted as a managerial Galactico, brought in
to win their elusive tenth Champions League, or “La Decima.” Madrid misses out on Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona title, who also beat them in a fiercely tempered Champions League semi-final. However, they win the Copa del Rey, their first trophy since 2008.
2011/12 – Real Madrid
Madrid’s wait for La Decima goes on after they’re knocked out of the Champions League
semi-finals for the second year running, losing on penalties to Bayern Munich. They enjoy a
glittering league campaign – their 100 points the most in any of the top European leagues at
the time and their 121 goals the most in La Liga history.
Honors: La Liga
2012/13 – Real Madrid
Things begin to unravel as tensions rise between Mourinho, Iker Casillas, and Sergio Ramos. As the season goes on, his departure appears inevitable. He also grows more erratic in his criticism of Barcelona and their apparent preferential treatment from referees – during one El Clasico, he pokes Barca assistant Tito Vilanova in the eye.
Honors: Supercopa de Espana
2013/14 – Chelsea
Mourinho makes a long-awaited return to Chelsea, and immediately makes headlines by dropping then selling Juan Mata. He is particularly animated in press conferences, lambasting West Ham for playing “19th-century football”, calling Arsene Wenger “a specialist in failure,” and describing Chelsea as a “little horse” in an open title race in which they’d ultimately finish behind Manchester City and Liverpool.
2014/15 – Chelsea
After recruiting Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas from Spain, Chelsea cruise to a third title under Mourinho’s guidance. They also win the League Cup but are shocked at home to Bradford City in the FA Cup.
Honors: Premier League, League Cup
2015/16 – Chelsea
The start of the season is marred by a public spat with team physio Eva Carneiro, which led to her launching a lawsuit against the club. They then endure a disastrous first half of the season, losing nine of their first 16 Premier League games, leading to Mourinho’s sacking with Chelsea only a point above the relegation zone.
2016/17 – Manchester United
Mourinho replaces Louis van Gaal as Manchester United manager and signs Paul Pogba for £89 million, a world-record fee at the time. United’s poor league form is masked by their success in the cups, beating Southampton in the League Cup final and Ajax in the Europa League final. The latter gained them Champions League qualification.
Honors: League Cup, Europa League, Community Shield
2017/18 – Manchester United
United start the season strongly but cannot keep up with their local rivals Manchester City, who are storming the league under old rival Pep Guardiola. Manchester United secure their highest finish since Alex Ferguson’s retirement but are dumped out of the Champions League by a home loss to Sevilla, after which Mourinho embarks on a 12-minute rant
defending himself. United lose the FA Cup final 1-0 to Mourinho’s old side, Chelsea.
2018/19 – Manchester United
Many predict United will have a ‘third season slump,’ replicating Mourinho’s struggles in his thirds season at Chelsea and Real Madrid. They are proven correct as United flop in the Premier League, winning only seven of their first 17 games. Mourinho produces another memorable rant after losing to Tottenham Hotspur, holding three fingers to the cameras to indicate his Premier Leagues triumphs and shouting “Respect!” He’s sacked after losing to Liverpool.
2019/20 – Tottenham Hotspur
On the 20th of November 2019, Tottenham Hotspur announced the appointment of José Mourinho on a contract that runs until the end of the 2022/23 season. Commenting on the appointment, Chairman Daniel Levy said: “In Jose, we have one of the most successful managers in football. He has a wealth of experience, can inspire teams, and is a great tactician. He has won honours at every club he has coached. We believe he will bring energy
and belief to the dressing room. Tottenham Hotspur F.C has traditionally been a decent-but-not-great club in the Premier League but has become one of the dominant forces in English football over the past few years. They made the Champions League final last year, where they lost to Liverpool. This was a stunning achievement, and they did it all under their now former manager, Mauricio Pochettino.
Mauricio Pochettino did absolutely incredible things with Spurs. He took what was a middling Premier League side and turned them into one of the most entertaining, exciting, attacking young teams in the world. They routinely challenged for Premier League titles, and then made the Champions League final last year.
He never won a trophy, but for a club like Tottenham, he clearly had them punching above
their weight. Pochettino had always preached an incredibly demanding training schedule, and his team’s playing style demanded incredibly high fitness. When his players were young and eager, they bought in. After years of it, however, it understandably got old. Seventeen months on, the gamble has emphatically failed to pay off for either side, with the manager stunningly sacked on Monday morning.
The shock was not in his departure but in the timing of it, coming just days before the club’s Carabao Cup final with Manchester City at Wembley. After all, Mourinho was brought to the club to turn Tottenham into silverware winners – but with Spurs on course to finish outside of the top four for the second season in a row, criticized for the negativity of their football, and with uncertainty surrounding the futures of numerous key players, Levy dramatically pulled the plug on the project.
2021/22 – AS Roma
We are thrilled and delighted to welcome José Mourinho into the AS Roma family,” club
President Dan Friedkin and vice-president Ryan Friedkin said.
“A great champion who has won trophies at every level, José will provide tremendous
leadership and experience to our ambitious project.
“The appointment of José is a huge step in building a long-term and consistent winning
culture throughout the club.”
Mourinho, 58, is one of the most successful coaches in the history of the sport – having won
25 major trophies in his career to date. Jose has the utmost right to call himself the “The Special one” in my books, his records alone speak volumes. For clubs that desire to win any Silverware, Jose is a big gamble that any club would take. As stated, “Gamble” can be a good gamble or a bad gamble. After all, this is soccer(football).
The question is, Would the gamble pay off this time? And “Has José lost his charisma?”
Main Image Credits- Embed from Getty Images