Jose Mourinho, the special one
The worldwide famed Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho was considered the 3rd best world coach of the first decade of the 21st century by the IFFHS organization.
Loved by some, hated by others, Jose Mourinho is a controversial character that leaves no one indifferent. However, regardless what one may think about his personality, his coach abilities are beyond dispute.
Born on January 26th 1963, Jose Mourinho grew up in Setúbal, a former fishing village, almost an hour away from Lisbon, near the amazing Arrábida Natural Park and facing Tróia, one of the most exclusive beach resorts in Portugal.
Jose Mourinho is the son of Félix Mourinho, a former goalkeeper and coach. Maybe due to his early proximity to football, he was always fascinated by this world and helped his father whenever he could, writing reports on the other teams, giving hints on his future. As a young boy he started playing football and latter represented clubs like Belenenses and Rio Ave.
However, his parents advise him to focus on his studies instead on the game. And so he did having graduated at Instituto Superior de Educação Física at the age of 24. Next he headed to Scotland to attend a manager course recognized by UEFA.
His path as a coach
When Sir Bobby Robson came to coach Sporting Clube de Portugal, Manuel Fernandes suggested his name as an interpreter. And Mourinho’s path to become the Special One – his self-entitled nickname adopted by the British press – began here.
Mourinho and Robson became friends mostly due to Mourinho’s eagerness to learn and organizational skills. Therefore, when Bobby Robson went to FC Porto, Mourinho went with him to enjoy two and a half successful years as the team won twice the Portuguese championship.
In the 96/97 season Robson went to coach Barcelona and, once more, Mourinho went along. A year later, the British left and this time Mourinho stayed to assist Louis van Gaal. In 2000 he comes back to Portugal as main coach of Sport Lisboa e Benfica. However, disputes with the club’s direction force Mourinho to leave in the middle of the season. The following year he achieves success while managing União de Leiria as the team reaches its best place ever, finishing in 5th. Yet, he wasn’t there to see the achievement as he left to FC Porto, promising the championship on the following season.
And so he did! Besides two Portuguese championships, one Taça de Portugal and one Supertaça, Mourinho also gave the UEFA cup to Porto’s supporters, a deed never before achieved by a Portuguese team. Due to all his accomplishments during the 2002/2003 season the Portuguese was considered the best European coach on an UEFA online pool.
The following year FC Porto wins the Champions League and Mourinho leaves Portugal to coach Chelsea FC. In England he conquered twice the Premier League as well as the FA cup with a team that wasn’t winning anything for 50 years. Jose Mourinho became almost a god for Chelsea supporters. They even made him a song:
In 2006, he was elected best couch of the year 2005 on an online pool promoted by UEFA.
After winning all there was to win in England Mourinho went to FC Internazionale Milano to achieve glory once more. In Italy, Mourinho became the first couch to conquer twice a national championship, a national cup and a European championship in the same season.
However the Italian adventure ended up when Mourinho went to Real Madrid on May 28th 2010, where he has the chance to coach portuguese football star, considered by many as the best world football player – Cristiano Ronaldo. In 2011 the team won the 2011 Copa del Rey Final, the first time since 1993 and this year is well balanced to win the Spanish championship.
Mourinho’s main achievements so far
Besides being considered best European coach in two online UEFA pools, Mourinho was the third coach in football history to win two UEFA Champions League with two different teams; Ernst Happel and Ottmar Hitzfeld were the two previous coaches he equaled.
In 2010 Mourinho won FIFA World Best Coach award and this year the International Federation of Football History and Statistics announced him as third best coach in the world of the first decade of the twenty-first century behind Arsene Wenger and Alex Fergunson.