Jose Mourinho, the self proclaimed “Special One,” is arguably the most famous football manager on the planet. Success and controversy seem to follow him wherever he goes like loyal pets. His meteoric rise to stardom began when he won the UEFA Champions League with FC Porto, which was actually preceded by a league cup, a league title and a UEFA Cup in the previous season. Mourinho’s habits always tend to infuse a bit of flair and spice which magnify even trivial news surrounding him (much like the most famous Italian striker Balotelli).
Mourinho’s goal line celebration at Manchester United after Costinha scored for Porto is an unforgettable memory. Victory in the finals against AS Monaco increased his worth and made him the most sought after manager in Europe and Chelsea finally snapped him up to spearhead its promising campaigns. Arriving at the biggest and best football league in the world, Mourinho made a bigger name for himself with more trophies along with his trademark controversial actions on and off the pitch. Most importantly he proved that he belonged in the big league and could keep his own among big stars. Infact, it is safe to say that he was the most famous name in England during his time at Chelsea and one couldn’t get enough of him! Six trophies at Chelsea in three years (albeit missing the Champions League that Abramovich craved for the most) also made him a legend among the Chelsea faithful (which is playing a huge role now with respect to the clamor to have him come back to Stamford Bridge as noted by All Blue Daze).
His stint with Inter Milan was another successful affair that was again rarely bereft of controversies. His clashes with Serie A coaches and the Italian press ensured that the focal point of the football world shifted from London to Milan. More trouble with the Association led to match bans and forecast a shadow on his future at the club. But yet again his spell at the club was filled with trophies including the coveted Champions League. He also overcame Barcelona in the semi finals – a victory which stirred the Real Madrid front office and laid the foundations for his biggest tenure yet.
Real Madrid is arguably the biggest club Mourinho will ever manage and his appointment drove the city’s press into a frenzy who craved for consistent and dominating performances from the club. For far too long, the club was overshadowed in Europe by Barcelona and lackluster performances in the Champions League year after year were a disgrace to the club’s rich history. While Mourinho did manage to win the Spanish League and beat Guardiola, he rarely experienced the comfort and passion that endeared him previously. A job with the los blancos is like a high tension electrical cable and he was constantly scrutinized and criticized, and the fans of the Spanish giants never truly warmed up to him. He did achieve famous victories against arch rivals Barca but also succumbed to quite a few painful and humiliating losses. With Dortmund’s victory against him this year, Mourinho’s goal to win the Champions League with a different third team is extinguished. This should also spell the end of his see-saw stint at the Bernebau and pave his way into England. He may have won titles in Spain but he certainly didn’t meet his lofty expectations. Real Madrid may have a pool of exciting talent but lack the humble and modest demeanour of Jose’s earlier clubs. The club seems reluctant to accept failure and unreal expectations mean insurmountable amounts of pressure. They had the best manager in football with them but never truly appreciated his worth. They have some of the best players in Europe but certainly not the most consistent ones. If Mourinho leaves Madrid this season, it certainly might not be with the level of regret with which he left his earlier clubs.
For all his antics, Mourinho is a tactically supreme individual who has overseen famous victories against the best clubs in Europe at the biggest stages in football. His keen football acumen rarely tends to fail him and I do see a pattern in Champions League victories at the clubs he managed (he is winning at alternate clubs) and the next club he joins should go all the way. If it is Chelsea that lands him, it would be a fond reunion with the fans but possibly a bitter one with Roman. Where ever he ends up, trophies or not, we can surely be assured of drama and excitement to rivals famous soap operas!