By Quazi Zulquarnain Islam
José Mário dos Santos Mourinho Félix needs no introduction. For those ignorant ones out there just take the first and penultimate words of the name together to make Jose Mourinho and you will know who we are talking about. Born on the 26th of January 1963, Mourinho is currently employed as the manager of Chelsea football club and has earned the distinction of being the highest paid man on the job.
Regarded as one of the best managers in the Premiership and in Europe and the key to Chelsea's blistering form that saw them lift their first league trophy for over 50 years in 2005, Mourinho is known as a meticulous, assertive and charismatic football manager. However he is more well known for his unshakeable sense of self belief bordering on arrogance- a trait that has won him as many admirers as detractors.
Mourinho had an obscure career as a player but was soon renowned for his management skills. His aptitude for the game and organizational capabilities soon earned him the nod from high places and after some low-key early jobs earned his nickname as Tradutor (translator), when he worked with Sir Bobby Robson as his interpreter at both Benfica and FC Porto.
He then followed Robson to FC Barcelona in 1996 where he even learned Catalan. When Robson left for PSV he stayed at the Catalan side where he worked with Dutch coach Louis Van Gaal.
In 2000 his chance of becoming a coach finally arrived when he was picked by Lisbon side Benfica to replace Jupp Heynckes after the fourth week of the Portuguese league. Although he was popular with the fans and won admirers for a 3-0 derby victory over sporting he left after only nine games in charge because of a change in presidents.
After another short tenure with a mid-table Portuguese side, he was handpicked as the manager of a badly-motivated and unhappy Porto side (in January 2002) which was already out of contention for the league title by week 19 and at risk of not even qualifying for any European competition.
Upon meeting his players for the first time he went upto them and promptly told them “ We will be champions next year.”
After a superb 15 match run Porto finished third that year and Mourinho delivered his promise the next year as they romped to the Liga title in 2003. His success was built around superb motivational skills and intense physical preparations. He rescued the careers of reserve team players like Maniche while making stars of little known players like Deco and Paulo Ferreira. He also won the Portuguese Cup and the UEFA cup in the same year.
This debut season set a standard that would be hard to better but the following season, while perhaps not playing as impressively, Porto scooped another easy SuperLiga win (their 20th overall). This was accomplished with a 100% home record, an eight point advantage and an unbeaten run that only ended five weeks before the end of the season. While the Portuguese Cup final was lost to Benfica in May 2004, two weeks later Mourinho won the ultimate prize: the Champions League, with an emphatic 3-0 win over Monaco in the Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. The team's impressive European run saw only one defeat: against Spanish giants Real Madrid in the first group phase and included wins over Manchester United, Olympique Lyonnais and Deportivo de La Coruña.
After that Mourinho moved to Chelsea where he identified himself as the special one. He has since lived up to that hype and bought Chelsea their first championships in fifty years. Although the ultimate prize eluded him last time the odds are on him capturing the Champions League this season.
Did you know?
· Mourinho has a degree in Physical Education, specialising in sports methodology and worked as a high school coach.
· “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.” on moving to Chelsea.
· We have top players and, sorry if I'm arrogant, we have a top manager. on himself
· "Everybody was waiting for Chelsea not to win every game and one day when we lose there will be a holiday in the country. But we are ready for that."- on Chelsea's form
· Liverpool scored, if you can say that they scored, because maybe you should say the linesman scored.- on losing against Liverpool
· You have to wonder why they did that penalty. Because they have so many penalties in the season, that's why. They have to do something special and different.- On Arsenal's French farce of a penalty.