Interviews can be scary, nervous occasions. It’s when you put on your best suit and demeanour to impress potential employers. It’s normally in their offices, and on their terms. Imagine if you could engineer a situation where you could impress all these people on your terms. Couldn’t happen? Well, if you’re name is Jose Mourinho, it can. The Portuguese has a rare talent for making the world to his will.
A little under ten years ago, Mourinho was the ‘brash new kid on the block.’ His Porto team were champions of Portugal, and one year after winning the UEFA Cup against Celtic they were at it again in the Champions’ League. In the last four, they were joined by Monaco, Deportivo and the newly wealthy Chelsea. The London club were clear favourites, but somehow, ‘Tinkerman’ Raniero, conspired to get his tram eliminated clearing the way for Jose to take the trophy – and eventually the Italian’s job as well.
Fast forward a few years and Mourinho is now at Inter. After a couple of seasons or so, which appears to be the general club shelf life for Jose, his trophy-laden Chelsea career had ended in the seemingly inevitable rancour with Roman. Having performed his usual title winning magic trick in Milan, Jose’s eyes were on the the soon to be vacant real Madrid job. To set the seal on the deal however, he wanted a virtuoso show – or two – that he could put on. Fate kindly stepped in again. Paired with his old enemy Barcelona in the semi-finals, what better way to get into the affections of the Los Blancos fans, than by defeating the Catalans, and dancing on their pitch in triumph. But wait, it got even better. The final of the competition was actually at the Bernabeu – in Madrid’s office you could almost say. Needless to add of course, that Jose lifted the trophy, and landed the job.
And so to today. Having already declared that he will be leaving Spain and would like to head to England for his next booking, he’s steered the Spanish champions to the Champions’ League quarter finals. In the pot with such luminaries as Barca, Juventus, Bayern, Dortmund and the nouveau riche of PSG, a bit like Tom Thumb, he pulls out the plum – Galatasaray. Now, the Turkish team aren’t pushovers, but probably are the weakest of the eight. I can’t see that draw stopping Madrid’s march, and then it’s semi- final time. Will anybody really be surprised if Jose gets to the final again, which as he’s apparently looking for an English is inevitably at Wembley this year? I can see him creating history by being the only manager in history to lift the big-eared cup with three different clubs, and then being whisked off to Eastlands, or Stamford Bridge perhaps, to sign a big fat contract and set up the next chapter.
In his first press conference after taking the Chelsea job, Mourinho appointed and anointed himself as the “Special One.” Anybody want to argue?