“I think I’m a special one.”
With these famous words, Jose Mourinho introduced himself to the English media, in his first press conference as Chelsea manager. Since then, he has gone on to win countless trophies in England, Spain and Italy, cementing his place as not just one of the best managers of our generation, but one of the greatest figures in sporting history. Currently in his second stint as Chelsea manager, his team lie 7 points clear at the top of the table, with experts agreeing that the Premier League title is theirs to lose.
Mourinho is an exceptionally talented strategist with vast tactical knowledge. He is capable of adjusting his tactics into beating any team in the World. Additionally, he possesses incredible attention to detail, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic (who played under him at Internazionale), praising Mourinho for even knowing the shoe-size of the opposition’s third choice keeper. One of his biggest assets is his gift of man-management. He is capable of squeezing every last ounce of effort from his players, inspiring unity, and ensuring that non first team players remain happy sitting on the bench for extended periods of time.
Furthermore, Mourinho is a master of the ‘dark arts’ of management. He is famous for playing mind games with other managers, and is always willing to make public statements in order to disrupt other teams, inspire his own teams, and to control media perception. This tendency makes the Portuguese boss a Machiavellian figure in the world of football.His mastery of mind games, charismatic character, and undoubted ability as a football manager make Mourinho a media darling. Here are some of his best quotes, and most entertaining moments:
1) The knee slide. Having seen his Real Madrid side claim a stoppage time win against Manchester City, Mourinho was happy to spoil an expensive suit, in an outburst of raw passion.
2) After having Pepe incorrectly sent off in a crucial game against Barcelona, Mourinho was not a very happy man. He then performed this action, showing us his darker side and getting sent off himself in the process.
3) On a Chelsea injury crisis: "It's like having a blanket that is too small for the bed. You pull the blanket up to keep your chest warm and your feet stick out. I cannot buy a bigger blanket because the supermarket is closed. But the blanket is made of cashmere."
4) After Lionel Messi (supposedly) dived, in order to get Asier Del Horno sent off: "How do you say cheating in Catalan?"
5) On taking the Chelsea job for the first time: "If I wanted to have an easy job I would have stayed at Porto. Beautiful blue chair, the UEFA Champions League trophy, God, and after God, me.”
6) On beating Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United side in 2004, whilst at Porto: "I understand why he (Alex Ferguson) is a bit emotional…you would be sad if your team gets as clearly dominated by opponents who have been built on 10% of the budget."
7) On his rivalry with Frank Rijkaard: “My history as a manager cannot be compared with Frank Rijkaard’s history. He has zero trophies and I have a lot of them.”
8) On playing against Barcelona: “I have to train with ten men. How to play with ten men, because I go there with Chelsea, I finish with ten, I go there with Inter, I finish with ten and I have to train to play with ten men because it can happen again.”
9) Before the beginning of the 2006/07 season: "Look at my haircut — I am ready for the war."
10) Using eggs as a metaphors for players, and criticizing Roman Abramovich (the Chelsea Owner): "No eggs, no omelette. And it depends on the quality of the eggs. In the supermarket, you have eggs class one, class two, class three. Some are more expensive than others and some give you better omelettes. So when the class one eggs are in Waitrose and you cannot go there, you have a problem."
These ten moments only provide a glimpse into the illustrious career of Jose Mourinho. He is unquestionably a legend in the world of sport.