Mourinho’s talisman revealed
Could the all-time conquering coach of Chelsea, Jose Mourinho also be said to be a superstitious man? He gave indications of this, just before the opening whistle at start of the 2015 League Cup final, contested by Chelsea and Tottenham.
Mourinho brought out a rosary from his pocket, kissed it and returned it to the same pocket. Whether this was a tradition for him, or it was his first time doing that, it seemed to work. The man known as ‘the special one’ has just broken the longest trophy drought of his professional career- two years and 10 months, and secured the 21st trophy of his managerial career.
Mourinho joined F.C. Porto in January 2002 (thanks to his success with Uniao de Leiria over a six month spell after a nine match spell with Benfica) and ended the season on third position. In his first full season, he won the Portuguese league, with an 11 point gap over his former team, Benfica.
The total of 86 points out of the possible maximum of 102 was a Portuguese record since the rule of three points per win was introduced. Mourinho also won the Taça de Portugal, beating former club Leiria in the final, and the UEFA Cup final against Celtic, both in May 2003.
The next season, he won the league again and more importantly, the UEFA Champions league with a squad many did not expect to go that far.
This heroic feat and meteoric rise led to his recruitment by cash filled Chelsea, making him one of the world’s highest paid coach. He did not disappoint as he delivered Chelsea’s first top-flight domestic title in 50 years, setting a string of English football records in the process, including the most points ever achieved in the Premier League (95), and the fewest goals conceded (15) and also winning the league cup against Liverpool, a team everyone was sure he was joining before Chelsea.
He would go on to win the league the next season again, adding two more trophies before he had to leave by mutual consent just three years after joining Chelsea. By this time, he had made his mark as a serial winner.
Success was to follow at Inter Milan, where he would win five trophies in two years, which was to include the Champions League again. After the trophy presentation, the serial winner made it known he was leaving Inter to join the star studded team at Real Madrid, the almost ultimate goal for every manager.
His time at the Galaticos wasn’t as successful as he was only able to bag three trophies in three years, not winning any trophy in his last year, not finding success in going past the world’s best team at the time- Barcelona and a lot of in house controversy with his players and staff.
A return to Chelsea was on the cards and he joined them for the start of the 2013/2014 season. Just like the season before, he ended it without atrophy, marking two seasons without a trophy. He has ensured this season would not be the seam as he came out blazing and has been leading the league for much of the campaign. More importantly he has won the League Cup, two years and 10 months after winning the La Liga in 2012.
In ten seasons of club management, Mourinho has led his club to win its domestic league seven times, the UEFA Champions League twice and the UEFA Cup once. Between 2003 and 2012, Mourinho did not go a single calendar year without winning at least one trophy.
For a man I personally do not like his route to finding success, I have to commend and be wowed by his ability to deliver consistently over the years. I do not like his mind games, his use of players, touchline antics, but I do respect his CV as a football coach: win matches and trophies, something that has eluded my favourite coach to my only team in the world, Arsene Wenger.
-Oluwaseun Okegbemiro wrote in from Lagos
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September 5, 2015 at 4:09 pm
Nice piece. I admire the man Jose (Mourinho) and wish him a brilliant success as he struggle to put himself and his team together for this season.