The storied history of Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho is perhaps one of the most famous soccer coaches in the world today. He has won dozens of awards, and turned teams such as Chelsea, Inter Milan, and Manchester United into powerhouses of sport. There is nearly no person on the planet who has not heard of these teams. And there is only one reason for this fame – the coaching style and intense drive to win of the Mourinho, who coached every single one of these teams to international success and superstardom. It appears as if he can go to any team in the world and, with the snap of his fingers, turn them into winners.


But this was not always the case. It took a lot of hard work, perseverance, and his fair share of failures for Jose Mourinho to truly realize his potential. Growing up in a wealthy football family, when his parents lost it all he had to build himself up from scratch, finding any avenue he could in order to succeed. But he always kept his eyes on the prize, and he has an incredible story to share because of it. This is the true story of perhaps the most colorful personality in all of football.

From a line of soccer players

Jose Mourinho was born to be a soccer player. In fact, his entire family was involved in the soccer industry in his native Portugal. Born in the Lisbon suburb of Setubal, Jose grew up in the shadow of his soccer playing father José Manuel Mourinho Félix, a goalie for Portuguese teams Vitória de Setúbal and Os Belenenses. His mother’s family was also involved in the sport, as her uncle built the Vitória de Setúbal soccer stadium. However, the family lost its social standing upon the removal of dictator António de Oliveira Salazar. The family had supported the dictator and his corporationist policies, but upon his removal from power, the family lost everything except a home in Setubal.

Running Chelsea

Jose Mourinho was picked to be the manager of the prestigious Chelsea Football Club in the United Kingdom after several years of successfully coaching and managing various teams around his native Portugal. He was signed onto a three year contract whereby he was compensated the equivalent of over three million dollars in today’s money. He took Chelsea to win two Premier League titles in 2005 and 2006. It was the first time Chelsea had won a title in 50 years. This was only the very beginning of a long and successful career in the major European leagues.

Leaving business school

Jose Mourinho was not always destined to be an award winning and league topping manager however. In fact, he was signed up by his mother to go to business school at the age of 23. He had failed multiple times at trying to become a professional soccer player, so his mother figured that he could be a businessman and support himself that way. However, Mourinho left the school after the very first day.

A school teacher

Jose Mourinho knew that he wanted to be involved in soccer, so he began looking for ways to break into the sport. He decided that he would start off his soccer career by becoming a physical education teacher in his native Lisbon, Portugal. Mourinho taught physical education in various schools around the city for five years, and several of the girls in his classes immediately developed crushes on him. In fact, many of the schools he taught at saw a noticeable increase in PE attendance amongst the girls.

The king of Milan

It’s incredible that this PE teacher was able to bring Chelsea to greatness. However, that greatness would come at a cost. After leading Chelsea to victory twice, Mourinho also began to fight with the team’s owner, Roman Abramovich. So, Mourinho left to manage the Football Club Internazionale Milano (Inter Milan). He brought the team to victory his first year there, winning the Supercoppa Italiana. The next year he lost the Supercoppa, but he was able to bring Inter to the quarter finals of the Champions League.

Conquering Spain

After managing Inter for a couple of years, Mourinho decided to go to Real Madrid. He was given the highest ever compensation package at the time, receiving over $8.75 million from the Spanish team to make the move. He took Real Madrid to victory, beating FC Barcelona to win the Copa del Rey final at the end of his first season as manager. He also helped the team claim the La Liga title, and brought Real Madrid to the Champions League Semi Finals.

The Semis

Jose Mourinho did something that had never been done before in the history of professional European soccer – he brought three different teams (Chelsea, Inter Milan, and Real Madrid) to the semi-finals of the Champions League. His entire mindset is one of winning, and he instills the love of victory in the players he manages. And it really does pay off! But sometimes he gets into a little bit of trouble with the sporting authorities due to his desire to win at all costs.

Sneaking in

One of the things that makes Mourinho so successful is his willingness to do anything and everything to win – including bending the rules. Back during the Champions League quarter finals in 2005 when he was with Chelsea, Mourinho was actually banned from speaking to his players before the game and during half time, due to previous offensive comments he made about a referee. To get around this, he allegedly hid in a laundry cart and got wheeled into and out of the locker room so the authorities wouldn’t see him.

The book deal

A Portuguese journalist named Louis Lourenco wrote a biography of Jose Mourinho back in 2008, and it did not reflect upon the coach all that well. The biography described a family who lived in fear of Jose, and exposed a lot of juicy details about his family life. Mourinho went to court to try to stop the book from being published, but the Portuguese courts didn’t find any slanderous material within. They said that Lourenco was fulfilling his journalistic duty and exercising his freedom of speech.

The dog that ran off

Jose Mourinho ran into trouble with the British authorities for a very interesting reason. He had just come back to the United Kingdom, and the police wanted to quarantine his dog. They believed that Mourinho had taken his dog with him out of the country, and were worried that the animal had brought back diseases. As the authorities were closing in on his house, Mourinho opened the door and encouraged the dog to escape the police. Mourinho received a caution due to preventing the authorities from doing their job.

Record breaking season (2012)

The 2011-2012 season was the season which really put Jose Mourinho on the map. As manager for Real Madrid, Mourinho managed to do what most people thought was impossible. He finishing the season with the highest goal difference difference in the league (+89), got the most points obtained in any of the top European leagues (100), had the most games won in a La Liga season (32), and had the most away game wins at (16).

Back to where it began (going back to Chelsea)

Coming off of his amazing season in 2011-2013, Mourinho went on to have his worst season of his career in 2012-2013. It was so bad that Real Madrid let him go. But Chelsea was right there waiting to take him back. He took Chelsea to third place in the Premier League his first season back, and took the team to win the League championships the year after that. As Mourinho said, “In my career I’ve had two great passions – Inter and Chelsea – and Chelsea is more than important for me.”

A venerable polyglot

Mourinho got his first start as a coach because of his ability to speak fluent English and Portuguese. It is for this reason that he has been able to be so successful in coaching so many teams – he can speak the language of the players and the fans. Mourinho has lashed out at coaches who refuse to learn the local language, and argues that his ability to communicate has led to his numerous wins. Jose Mourinho speaks five languages: Portuguese, Catalan, Spanish, English, French, and Italian.

Becoming the man in Manchester

Mourinho was able to put his English to good use as he was picked up to be the manager of Manchester United soon after he left Chelsea. He shaped up the team and, with him at the helm, clinched the English Football League trophy over the Southampton team. Mourinho became the first ever first year manager to win the EFL trophy on his first try in league history. Soon after, Mourinho was able to push Manchester United to win the Europa League trophy.

The Frisk affair

When Mourinho’s Chelsea team tied with Barcelona in 2005, Mourinho claimed that the head referee Anders Frisk held a meeting with Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard during half time – thus breaking FIFA rules and potentially causing Frisk to be biased towards Barcelona. While Rijkaard admitted to doing the deed, he said Frisk turned him away. However, Mourinho fans began sending threats to Frisk which scared him so much that Frisk retired from refereeing. This caused UEFA Referee Chief Volker Roth to call Mourinho “the enemy of football.”

One of the best

Jose Mourinho was awarded dozens of medals and accolades over the course of his career. For instance, he was awarded FIFA’s World Coach of the Year in 2010, the Premier League Manager of the Year from 2004 to 2006 and 2014-2015, UEFA Manager of the Year, World Soccer Magazine 3rd Greatest Manager of All Time, and the Globe Soccer Awards Best Coach of the Year. He was even given Grand Officer of the Order of Prince Henry, making him part of the Portuguese National Order of Knighthood.

The Man U brawl

Back in 2011 during the end of the final of the Supercopa de España game, violence erupted. No one is quite sure who did what or how it started, but the players from both teams began attacking each other. Allegedly, Jose Mourinho and the Barcelona team assistant coach Tito Vilanova also joined in on the fighting, and Mourinho allegedly tried to gouge Vilanova’s eye out! The match ended 4-5 with a Barcelona victory.

An advertising mogul

Mourinho has gained a whole bunch of notoriety in the world of professional soccer. But you know what they say – all publicity is good publicity. This has led to him getting dozens of offers to appear in major advertisement campaigns. These include ads for companies such as: American Express, Jaguar, Adidas, Samsung, and Braun. It does not appear that he is hurting for cash at all. However, it should be noted that he does not receive any residuals from his biography.

Rockstar of the Year

Believe it or not, famous music magazine Rolling Stone featured Jose Mourinho on its cover as its 2011 “Rockstar of the Year.” The magazine determined that he was a total rock star based upon the fact that he is witty and does not take any nonsense when he is pressed by the press corps after a game. He joins the likes of Former Italian President Silvio Berlusconi, Boston Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and Former United States Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

An analyst for Russia Today

Jose Mourinho has been tapped to become one of the premier soccer commentators for the Russian Kremlin backed television station Russia Today, better known as RT, in 2018. The 2018 World Cup will be held in Russia, and who better to commentate and provide expert analysis for the Cup than one of the best coaches in European soccer history? We expect the commentary to be vivid and colorful, and we are really looking forward to it!