English Premiership

The highs and lows of Jose Mourinho

2019-11-20 13:48
jose mourinho
Jose Mourinho (Getty Images)

London - A brief history of the career of Jose Mourinho, 56, who was named as Tottenham Hotspur manager on Wednesday:

The translator

After an undistinguished playing career in Portugal and a spell as a PE teacher, Mourinho worked as an interpreter for former England manager Bobby Robson at Portugal's Sporting CP and then Porto, where they enjoyed huge success before moving to Barcelona in 1996. Robson lasted only one season at the helm of the Spanish giants but Mourinho remained as assistant to Dutchman Louis van Gaal, before securing the manager's role at Benfica in 2000.

The European Cup-winner

Short spells at Benfica and Leiria were followed by a move to Porto in early 2002, where he won the UEFA Cup, Portuguese league and Portuguese cup in his first full season, with future stars such as Deco, Ricardo Carvalho and Vitor Baia. An even greater success was to come the following year when Porto were the shock winners of European club football's biggest prize, the UEFA Champions League, beating Monaco 3-0 in the May 2004 final after eliminating Manchester United, Lyon and Deportivo La Coruna along the way.

The Special One

Chelsea, bankrolled by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, immediately came knocking and Mourinho was unveiled to great fanfare in June 2004, memorably describing himself as "The Special One" to assembled media. It was not an idle boast: Chelsea won the next two editions of the Premier League, and added one FA Cup and two League Cup titles in a successful first stint at the London club. Mourinho's meticulous attention to detail, hitherto unknown in the English game, and attritional, pressing style cut a swathe through English football. But relations with Abramovich soured and Mourinho departed early in the 2007/08 season.

The Italian job

Mourinho joined Italy's Inter Milan for 2008/09 where his legend grew with two Scudettos in his first two seasons plus his second Champions League title in May 2010, beating Bayern Munich 2-0 in the final. At the time Mourinho, who clinched the Italian treble that year, was only the fourth manager to win the European title with two different clubs.

The Real deal

Despite his success Mourinho immediately departed for Real Madrid, a dream move for a manager, but his return to Spain proved ill-fated. Real won the Spanish Cup in Mourinho's first season in charge, but arch-rivals Barcelona beat them to the La Liga title and knocked them out in the Champions League semi-finals. The following year, Real won La Liga but again fell in the Champions League semi-finals. Mourinho's tenure unravelled in the third season as he feuded with players including Cristiano Ronaldo, the media and officials, and poked Barcelona assistant coach Tito Vilanova in the eye during a mass brawl. He departed at the end of the 2013 season.

The second coming

After being snubbed by Manchester United, who chose David Moyes to replace the retiring Alex Ferguson, Mourinho rekindled his affair with Chelsea in 2013. Chelsea won the Premier League title and the League Cup for a domestic double in 2014/15, but with enthusiasm dwindling for Mourinho's defence-minded football, passions cooled and he left in December 2015.

The Manchester hotel

Manchester United, struggling to find a viable replacement for Ferguson, turned to Mourinho in 2016 but the long-awaited match was not a happy one. Mourinho, lacking the charisma of earlier incarnations, and choosing to live full-time in a hotel, won the Europa League and League Cup in a promising first season. But as relations with the media deteriorated, and fans grew unhappy with United's style of play, Mourinho was unceremoniously sacked in December 2018.


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