[dropcap]H[/dropcap]ated by few, loved by some but adorned and reverend by many, one thing is for sure José Mário dos Santos Mourinho Félix simply known as Jose Mourinho is considered to be one of the best if not the best soccer coach of all time.
José Mourinho born on the 26th day of January 1963 in Setubal a town about 40km from the Portuguese capital Lisbon to José Manuel Mourinho Félix, who was known by the name Félix Mourinho, a former footballer and wife Maria Júlia Carrajola dos Santos, a primary school teacher a large middle-class family. From an early age, Mourinho set his mind on being involved in soccer to the point that he dropped out of business school his mother registered him in on the first day to rather focus on sport, and chose to attend the Instituto Superior de Educação Física (ISEF),Technical University of Lisbon, to study sports science to realize his dream of becoming a soccer player but he changed his mind when he discovered that he lacked the required pace and power to become one and chose to become a soccer coach.
He taught physical education at various schools and after five years, he had earned his diploma, receiving consistently good marks throughout the course. After attending coaching courses held by the English and Scottish Football Associations, former Scotland manager Andy Roxburgh took note of the young Portuguese’s drive and attention to detail. Mourinho sought to redefine the role of coach in football by mixing coaching theory with motivational and psychological techniques.
His first foray into coaching started when the late Bryan Robson arrived as the new manager of Sporting CP and needed an English translator and Mourinho was asked to help him out, this was to be building of a long lasting relationship between the two as Robson took Mourinho with him to Porto and Barcelona and Mourinho ended up learning so much from him.
His first managerial job came at Benfica in 2000 when he replaced the sacked Jupp Heynckes and then he moved to Uniao de Leiria after few months in charge of Benfica and his tenure was fairly successful as he guided them to their highest league finish of 5th place. He moved to FC Porto in January 2002 and the rest was history as he won them the league twice and then in 2004 won Europe’s greatest club competition the UEFA Champions league defeating Alex Ferguson a coach he would face on numerous occasions during his next job.
He moved to Chelsea in June 2004 to begin the Roman Abramovich revolution to usurp the Arsenal invincibles, Manchester United supremacy in the league and that he dully delivered as in his first year he won the league with record number of points tally and clean sheets in the history of the Premier league, 95 and 15 respectively, in addition to the league cup he successfully defended his title the next season and added the league cup title in 2007 as well as F.A Cup defeating Arsenal and Manchester United respectively. His relationship with Abramovich started deteriorating and this cost him his job after only 5 games into the new season but he had left his imprint on a club who had been searching for a league trophy for 50 years and also made them a difficult team to beat especially at home where they were undefeated at home during his two and the half year reign. He was approached by England to be their head coach after they failed to qualify for Euro 2008 but turned it down because he felt that he had not achieved all he wanted to in club football.
He moved to Milan coaching the other side, Inter and in his first season won the league and super cup and much success was to come the following season as he won the Copa Italia, UEFA Champions league as well as retaining the Serie A title making Inter Milan the only Italian team to win the treble since its inception. His stay in the league was no different as it was in England as he was involved in various controversies, but above all was a huge success.
His next journey would see him land in Spain and take up another challenge as the head coach of Real Madrid where he was brought in to usurp the dominance of arguably the best soccer team of all time Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona and also deliver the elusive Champions league trophy that has eluded the record holders since their last triumph in 2002. In his first season, he was unable to break the dominance, as he was unable to win the La Liga and Champion League as he was beaten by Barcelona but got his revenge as he beat them to claim the Copa del Rey trophy. In his second season, he was able to break the Catalans La Liga dominance by winning the La Liga with a record number of points as well as goals scored, 100 and 121 respectively but was unable to win the champions league yet again as Madrid were beaten in the semi finals by Bayern Munich. By his third and final season, his relationship with Madrid had begun soring as he had various disagreements with several first team players notably Iker Casillas whose sitting on the bench after he recovered from his injury was met with various criticism. He ended the season without any significant trophy as he lost the league to rivals Barcelona, Dortmund in the Champions league semi final and cross town rivals Athletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey.
He left Real Madrid and rejoined Chelsea, as he wanted to be where he felt loved, reverend and adorned by the club and its supporters. On his return, he declared that he should now be called “The Happy One” as he was where he felt happy.
His second coming has been met with various eyebrows raising questions whether he would be as successful as his first stint or end up like King Kenny Daglish whose second Liverpool coming wasn’t as successful as his first.
One thing is certain, Jose Mourinho carries with him a CV which speaks volumes with various accolades and trophies to show for it, winning the league titles in all the League he has been to, as well as winning the UEFA Champions league with two different clubs, FC Porto in 2004 and Inter Milan 2010, and be named World Best Soccer Coach in 2010 as well as controversies which we love about him and the English game has missed.
Welcome Back “The Happy One”
IMAGE CREDIT: Ronnie Macdonald