Jose Mourinho was born on January 26th 1963. During his short managerial career so far, he has already become one of the most successful but also controversial managers of recent times.
In his early years he had a keen interest in physical education, and he continued his education at the Technical University of Lisbon. After a five year course in which he specialised in sports methodology, he was eventually awarded his degree. Having had a short spell as a player at Belenenses and Rio Ave FC, he became aware that his skills would be best applied in management.
Sir Bobby Robson had recently been appointed manager of Sporting Lisbon, and was in need of a translator/interpreter. Mourinho eagerly took up the position, keen to learn more about the managerial trade from Sir Bobby. In 1996, Robson became the new head coach at FC Barcelona, and chose to bring the young apprentice with him to the Nou Camp.
Mourinho went on to work closely with the Barcelona B team, and also Louis Van Gaal, following Sir Bobby Robson’s eventual sacking. This gave Mourinho the opportunity to put the skills that he had learned into practice, and also to add Catalan to the number of languages he spoke.
Jose was eventually appointed as the assistant coach at Benfica, before his big managerial break came in 2000. He replaced the recently sacked Jupp Heynckes as the new head coach at Benfica, but was to endure mixed fortunes at the Lisbon club. After only a handful of games in charge, Mourinho left the club due to problems with the board. Like all great managers, Mourinho recovered from this set back immediately, and took up the managerial vacancy at Unilao de Leiria. Although this was a relatively unsuccessful team in the Portuguese league, Mourinho instantly transformed the fortunes of the club with his unique management style. Unilao de Leiria eventually finished the season in their highest ever league place, above his previous club Benfica.
Move to FC Porto
Mourinho’s success had been closely monitored by arguably the best side in the Portuguese league, FC Porto. He was head hunted soon after, and set about moulding Porto into a team of champions. Mourinho based his team around certain players, and was adept at getting the best out of previously weaker squad members.
In Mourinho’s first full season as manager of Porto, he guided the club to an historic treble. The club were crowned Portuguese League Champions with five weeks to spare, won the Portuguese League Cup, and also beat Celtic to win the UEFA Cup. If there were any previous doubts about Mourinho’s managerial qualities, these soon vanished after his phenomenal success.
Though he was pleased with his success, Mourinho now had his sights set on winning the UEFA Champions League. At the start of the 2003/04 season, FC Porto were few people’s favourites to lift the trophy. But after an astonishing run, in which Porto saw off the likes of Olympique Lyonnais and Manchester United, Porto beat Monaco 3-0 in the final. The Portuguese Champions retained their league title, and Mourinho was now becoming a target for clubs across Europe. After hinting that he may become Liverpool’s new manager, Mourinho opted to become the new manager at Chelsea.
The saviour of Chelsea FC
Jose was appointed at the London club just two days after Claudio Ranieri’s departure, such was the club’s eagerness to sign the Portuguese tactician. He brought a number of new players into the club, including two from Porto, and over £70m of new foreign imports.
Mourinho then backed up his claims of being a ‘special one’, by winning the Barclays Premier League and the Carling Cup in his first season in English football. The 3-2 Carling Cup victory over Liverpool was particularly significant as it came at a time when tensions were almost feverish between the two clubs. This was not helped by Mourinho seemingly mocking the Liverpool fans after his Chelsea team scored the equalising goal which took the match into extra time.
The Portuguese manager then guided Chelsea to a second successive Barclays Premier League title after a controversial 2005/06 season. Mourinho was heavily fined by the FA, after being found guilty of meeting Arsenal’s Ashley Cole at a hotel. Rumours were also spreading that there were problems behind the scenes at Chelsea, due to a clash of egos with club owner Roman Abramovich. After a Champions League game with Barcelona, Mourinho openly criticised referee Anders Frisk, and was given a two game touchline ban by UEFA.
The 2006/07 season saw Mourinho lead Chelsea to a cup double, winning the FA Cup and the League Cup, after beating Manchester United and Arsenal. The rumours that Mourinho’s position at Chelsea was again under threat continued into the 2007/08 campaign.
Chelsea started the season poorly, increasing the pressure on Mourinho. After the 2-0 loss to Aston Villa, Roman Abramovich’s displeasure was clear for all to see, as he stormed out of his seat and away from Villa Park. Chelsea then inexplicably drew at home with minnows Rosenborg in the Champions League, and the following day Jose Mourinho announced that he was leaving the club by mutual consent.
What next for the special one?
After initially expressing an interest in the vacant managerial position for the English national side, he later distanced himself from the job, much to the disappointment of most English fans. It has also been widely reported that Mourinho wants to continue in club management, with a high profile European team showing an interest in acquiring his services.
However, it is well known that Mourinho would one day like to manage his home nation of Portugal. Aside from all the controversy that comes with Mourinho, whichever club he decides to join next will surely be guaranteed one thing, and that is success.
Jose Mourinho married his long term girlfriend Tami in 1989, and the couple have two children, Jose Jr and Matilde. He was also famously arrested in 2007 for obstructing police, after they attempted to put his dog in quarantine. Away from football, Jose also features in a number of TV advertisements including American Express and Samsung.
- 2006/07: FA Cup Winner, League Cup Winner
- 2005/06: Barclays Premiership Champions, FA Community Shield
- 2004/05: Barclays Premiership Champions, League Cup Winner
- 2003/04: Portuguese League Champions, UEFA Champions League Winner
- 2002/03: UEFA Cup Winner, Portuguese League Champions, Portuguese League Cup Winner