Jose the Real deal

On a night when the football will be lost amid the Jose Mourinho headlines,'s Alex Dunn ponders on how the story will unfold for the Special One.

Last updated: 24th May 2010  

 Mourinho with European Cup

European champion for a second time

Champions League final Jose Mourinho wave

A heartfelt goodbye from Mourinho?

For years Real Madrid have been all fur coat and no knickers but if ever there was a man to ensure a side's style will be matched by its substance then it is Mourinho. The only pouting in a Mourinho team comes from its coach.

Quotes of the week

Only a Champions League final involving Jose Mourinho could be all about the coach, with the football reduced to a mere sub-plot, a by-product to be negotiated to get to the real story.

It is not rare, but rather unprecedented, that every camera and every lens should focus on the touchline rather than pitch on the referee's final whistle. However, when Howard Webb's shrill delivered to Inter Milan a first European Cup in 45 years it was not two-goal hero Diego Milito that stole the attention, the pugnacious Esteban Cambiasso or elegant captain Javier Zanetti.

It was Mourinho. This was the Special One's night from start to finish in Madrid, as Inter Milan claimed an historic treble in beating Bayern Munich 2-0.

The script could have been penned by a local telenovela hack such was the ham-fisted way his parting gift to the Nerazzurri was claimed in the home of his next port of call. This was Hollywood to such an extent Tinseltown would have rejected it on the grounds its storyboard lacked realism.

But that there is a perfect symmetry to Mourinho ending an adventure at the exact spot of his next one is not mere coincidence, but seemingly all part of a masterplan for a man who loves a club only in the moment. Jose, dapper and handsome chap that he is, is not a man to commit. Like Oscar Wilde once said, 'One should always be in love. That is the reason one should never marry'.

Wilde also claimed, 'I can resist everything but temptation', which may also help to explain Mourinho's decision, all but certain to be confirmed in the early part of next week, to swap Milan for Madrid.

When he went underground post-match for half an hour there was talk he'd been locked in Real Madrid's boardroom, kidnapped until he'd signed a deal to manage at the Bernabeu next season. Certainly when he resurfaced to fulfil his media obligations the waiting press pack were soon changing their headlines from being led by 'Milito Magic' to 'Jose's the Real deal'.

A mere mortal would face allegations of treachery upon turning ones back on a European giant, but Mourinho has always escaped the wrath of the partisan because he delivers. Before him only two other coaches, Ernst Happel and Ottmar Hitzfeld, had won the European Cup with two different clubs.

To draw level with such luminaries though will barely sate the appetite of a coach who earlier in the week flirted with the idea of one day returning to Chelsea, but simply whet it for more.

"I want to become the first coach to win the Champions League with three different clubs," said Mourinho. "My work here is done. I have made history with this club."

His emotional wave to the Inter faithful was heartfelt no doubt, but calculated too. A wry smile behind the teary eyes spoke a thousand words; there was no decision to be made, no calls for him to stay would penetrate the walls of a mind already plotting the course of its next challenge.

The only thing more inevitable in Madrid than Arjen Robben claiming a foul after tripping over his own lip was that Mourinho would be coaching in Spain next season.

On paper the fusion of Mourinho's pragmatism with Real's romance makes for an unlikely pairing but then the old adage is that opposites attract. It's not quite Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau but if he felt the goldfish bowl of Italian football - with the daily sports papers and obsession with talking tactics - was not for him, then he may just get a shock at Madrid.

For years Real Madrid have been all fur coat and no knickers but if ever there was a man to ensure a side's style will be matched by its substance then it is Mourinho. The only pouting in a Mourinho team comes from its coach.

There are many who claim Samuel Eto'o is not the striker he was at Barcelona but it is testimony to Mourinho's powers of persuasion, his charisma, that the notoriously difficult Cameroonian is now the consummate team player, ready to sacrifice his natural game to fit into his coach's game plan. Wesley Sneijder, turfed out by Madrid for a ludicrously low £12million in the summer, is another who is finally fulfilling the world-class talent he had flirted with but never consummated before Mourinho.

His detractors will say Saturday night was just another example of Mourinho's obsession with the limelight, as if he slipped the Spanish cameraman a bundle of Euros to focus on him rather than Zanetti lifting the trophy, but his players are invariably loyal to a fault.

The reason? Their medals say Champions League winners 2009/10.

In delivering a trophy Massimo Moratti and the Inter board have craved since the era of Helenio Herrera back in the day, Mourinho has once more proved he is the real deal. And that's why he's off to Madrid.

Comments (59)

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Wezi Kumwenda (Chelsea fan) says...

I have followed Jose since his time at porto.what more is there to say about the man,he's demonstrated what an achiever he is amidst all the controversy.I definitely would have loved him to stay at Chelsea because there is some thing that his personality brings to the game.Their are so many similarities in terms of interference from the board and player choices between Madrid and Chelsea,but get this from me, he will triumph as always. I wish him a good time at Madrid

Posted 17:08 24th May 2010

Tonye Kerege says...

am a chelsea is all about tactics,know your opponent and find a way to beat them, that what jose mourinho have done.once again i congratulate jose for his work as a manager.

Posted 16:07 24th May 2010

Colin Nicholson (Leeds United fan) says...

before tim slater has ago at mournio he should look at their own manager ferguson, remember the beckham incident? hardly the act of gracious man, also was fergie banned fromthe touch line for alleging that a ref was to put it milly imcompetent . WHAT A CLASS ACT c. nicholson

Posted 15:09 24th May 2010

Andrew Evans (Manchester United fan) says...

I think Mourinho is quite easy to sum up - win at all costs. Whether the cost is entertainment, spirit of the game, respect of opponents or the enjoyment of the fans, he will gladly drop any of that for three points (or a 'zero-zero' away from home in Europe). Chelsea complained that they hadn't won the league for years - then Mourinho came. The entertainment was far lower than under Ranieri - but the results speak for themselves. He certainly is a love me or hate me coach - but you can't argue with his results. He doesn't claim that his side play the best football, because he isn't a liar - he doesn't need to be. His job is to win and that is what he does. Don't get me wrong, when I think of him being at United, I don't know whether I'd be happy or not. I know we'd probably win everything, but the style in which we play would be sacrificed. I wish him luck at Real and look forward to welcoming Ronaldo back at Old Trafford after a few weeks of being told to 'be compact and defend first' :)

Posted 14:11 24th May 2010

Aron Rowe (Aston Villa fan) says...

Jose is pure class an absloute master of the game and I may be talking a bit early but he will be right up there with the likes of Sir Alex come the end of his career. He has proved a success where ever he has gone and the fact that Chelsea didn't win a title for 2 years after he left shows that it is the Mourinho factor which makes his teams. Before Mourinho Inter were an average team who struggled year in year out in everything but Serie A which lets face it is a second rate league. Mourinho takes a team and makes it his own, and more importantly he makes them winners. As for Mardrid, may not be the best place for him as they demand exciting and attacking football BUT what i would say is watch our Barcelona because you will not hold on to that La Liga crown long with the self proclaimed special one comming to spain. Jose will create a solid winning team at madrid but his football will be the same as ever. I think that at least for a couple of seasons madrid fans and the board would be hapy just being the top club in spanish football again. I do see problems arising though, Mourinho left his beloved chelsea because Roman interffered too much, tried to sign players and pick the team, well at mardid they have 3 directors of football and perez all of which who like to have a say on all matters. As far as Jose is concerned its his way or the high way... he can always find a new club but clubs can not find a new Jose Mourinho, he is simply The Special One.

Posted 13:58 24th May 2010

Mithun Siddath (Chelsea fan) says...

Its had to digest the fact that some man utd fans are labeling Mourinho as 'Classless'. Remember Sir Alex's comments after the Bayern game? If that was class, Mourinho s Celebrations were EPIC! Barcelona Deserved it for their 'Obsession'.

Posted 13:57 24th May 2010

Martin H (Manchester United fan) says...

@ Nic Olds - my friend I think you'll find when you look into Mourinho's record my point is well and truly backed up. You're quite right he inherited the Chelsea team from Claudio Ranieri and made a couple of additions from the Porto CL winning team, players I might add that were discovered by Octávio Machado who Mourinho replaced at Porto. A lot of people are under the impression that Jose built that Porto team but he only managed them for 2 years which is hardly enough time to build a successful side. @ Abdul-rahman Rashida - I think Barcas coach has promise. It's true that he hasn't built the current Barca team but it's a little early to be throwing Guardiola's name into the discussion since he's only been the coach for 2 seasons. Time will tell on Guardiola.

Posted 13:04 24th May 2010

Nyasha Mutendesi (Arsenal fan) says...

i believe if arsene wenger buys good players arsenal will be unbeatable next season

Posted 13:00 24th May 2010

George Milliken (Blackpool fan) says...

you're all charlatans if you laud this man! mourinho plays horrible anti-football- not what we should be seeing in the european final. small clubs like rangers and celtic get slated for playing 'anti-football- against a superior barcelona team and yet mourinho is praised for it. mourinho's teams make no attempts to play football and the play-acting and cyniism is teh worst. grande inter? the comparison is spot on- mourinho and herrerra play the same horrible negative football- i certainly do not want to see it. finally, everyone is in love with barca one minute because they excite and entertain and the world declares that this is how football should be played and yet a metter of months later, it is all about mourinho's pragmatism??? hang your heads...

Posted 12:06 24th May 2010

Tim Slater (Manchester United fan) says...

In my opinion, there is an etiquette in football, and shaking the hand of the manager before the final whistle is wrong! As is stating that you are to be a manager of a club that already has a manager, i recall him shaking the hands of all his staff before the end of a game, thought that stunk a bit too. Running on the pitch against barca pointing his finger (adebayor-esq, ha)- i know he had to put up with a lot of stick from those (barca) fans but're professional, show some class. Yes he is a winner, no doubt, but he is a bad winner. However having said that, they did have to beat big teams to win the trophy, so im not suggesting he is a lucky manager, he is very good tactically. When fergie does go, i would like him to be replaced by someone with united connections, who will be around for a similar tenure as fergie, not someone who take charge for 3 years then walk out for somewhere else (even if he does win us trophies). Real, have needed someone to sort out there defence for a while, and i'm sure he'll do that. i know its been said already but, i dont know how the Real fans will take to the kind of football he plays, capello got the elbow for winning in a defensive manner.

Posted 11:05 24th May 2010

Fredrick Mangwende (Arsenal fan) says...

The Wenger regime has lamentably failed. He has run out off ideas and stuck in the mud. We will not be impressed with past glories of his ten years. As long as we have him as manager, not even Carling Cup will ever tread on the streets of Emirates. Wenger is a terrible racist, look at his squad, dominated by by Frenchmen. As long as we keep him, the there will be nothing at the end of every season chere up.

Posted 11:02 24th May 2010

Majid Doka (Liverpool fan) says...

Dear Martin H. I think you have not been following what is going on in soccar world, you found you self by mistake watching the semi & final of the Euripean champion leadge. Who build Porto Portugal that took the Tropy in 2003 & 2004. Who build the current chelsea Team. He did not build Inter but he motivated them and show the how to win tropies. The special thing with him is whereever he goes he succed compering to your Ferguson, I don't think he will succeed if he goes to another team.

Posted 10:27 24th May 2010

Mpho Mogatusi (Arsenal fan) says...

Jose is the greatest he will transform real into a well oiled machine. With miltio and possibly maicon joining them then barca will have real problems. Although madrid bought alot of new players many of them are sub-par e.g Marcleo, Gago, Metzelder Lasanna Diarra. I see an exit for these players. Pleae jose come to arsenal and end our drought the wenger experiment is highly likely to fail once again.

Posted 09:26 24th May 2010

Bukuzagara Frans (Chelsea fan) says...

I just thinkt jose was purposely made to attract the whole world's attention where'ver he goes.bravo the "SPECIAL 1" U'RE A WINNER

Posted 08:06 24th May 2010

Michael Laidlaw (Chelsea fan) says...

Ok, so he is a good coach but not a great one. He has always had in his teams the best defenders around. Porto: Carvalho, Bosingwa, P.Ferrerai, Andrade Chelsea: Carvalho, Terry, A.Cole Inter: Lucio, Samuel, Maicon, Zanetti It's no wonder his teams defend so well. I think anybody could tell those guys "hey, just defend" and that is exactly what they would do. I would like to see Mourinho go somewhere with no money, no top 10 players in world football. Real Madrid is not a challenge, it's an easy ride for an insane wage package.

Posted 07:50 24th May 2010

Sunny A (Manchester United fan) says...

I must agree with the previous comments. I mean Jose is a wonderful coach but the whole situation being played out was very inappropriate. I mean claiming to be the manager who will lead Real Madrid whilst the current man is still in charge is somewhat below the belt. I mean sure everyone knew that change would be made inevitably, but still that is way to behave. But regardless i think Madrid and Mourinho are a match made in Heaven - but the only way he can make them great and bring much success is if he has total control at the club. It will be interesting to see how it plays out

Posted 07:08 24th May 2010

Oscar Brazil (Chelsea fan) says...

Tim Slater, what do u not see?? Are u confined to the perspective of a perrenial loser to not understand why the majority love Mourinho? Man has just won the Champions League with Inter, to add to the fact that he won it with Porto!! He beat Chelsea, a regimented defensive and dangerous attacking team (Premiership champions), and Barcelona, arguably the best attacking football team in the world (La liga champions).This adds to the conquests over Lyon (and Roma and Milan respectively in Seria A). Tell me that Pandev, Eto and Milito are more gifted than Ibrahimovic, Iniesta and MESSI...Dude is the superior manager, his CV demands no argument :)

Posted 02:02 24th May 2010

Dave Patman (Manchester United fan) says...

to Tim Slater, look, i can understand why you're griping about Mourinho, his conduct isn't great. Not in the slightest and he probably knows it. But Ferguson isn't exactly and angel. "Typical Germans" for example. Or calling 5 minutes of stoppage time a "disgrace to the game" after the Leeds match. They were both needless comments in themselves and im pretty sure that shows more lack of respect than mourinho shaking the hand of a manager who knows full well that he's been beaten. Furthermore, come on, who better to follow in the footsteps than Mourinho? who else really has the persona to be able to cope with the pressures of Utd? What's more, what would you rather it be? Mourinho's Utd and winning a lot of trophies, or Glazer's Utd in a shitload of debt. None of us will be complaining about it being more about Mourinho than Utd (if he goes there and if there are trophies) remember, the team name is scribed onto the trophies for future generations to see...not the managers. Also, and one last point here, Mourinho will be going to Madrid. And if he comes to Utd after his stint there, lets hope he brings a couple of their players with him!

Posted 00:37 24th May 2010

Fidelis Omozuapo says...

Mourinho's Inter Milan defeated the national champions of England, Germany and Spain to win the European Champions league. What else do people want from him to prove that he is one of the best, if not the best, football manager in recent times and that Inter really deserved this victory? There is now a compound word called "mourinho-haters" on Google. People are just jealouse of his success.

Posted 00:34 24th May 2010

Irre Levant (Manchester United fan) says...

Ignore the ¿little¿ ones Jose. Men like you are rare and we are privileged to witness your greatness You really are special

Posted 23:41 23rd May 2010

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