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What do Jose Mourinho's previous unveilings tell us ahead of Manchester United bow?

Jose Mourinho, first Chelsea press conference at Stamford Bridge, 2 June 2004

From 'The Special One' to 'The Happy One', Jose Mourinho's opening news conferences have come with no shortage of entertainment.

From his unveiling in June 2004 at Chelsea, to his return to Stamford Bridge nine years later, the Portuguese manager's first meeting back with the press have told us much about what is to come.

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Mourinho's to-do list

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Ahead of his first news conference as Manchester United manager on Tuesday, we look back on his last four unveilings and reflect on which of his big statements came to fruition, and which didn't...

Chelsea - June 2, 2004

"We have top players and, sorry if I'm arrogant, we have a top manager. Please don't call me arrogant, but I'm European champion and I think I'm a special one."

In saying perhaps the most famous line from a manager unveiling in Premier League history, Mourinho wasn't lying. He arrived from Porto just days after picking up a Champions League winner's medal, and 12 months later had guided Chelsea to their first top flight title in 50 years, with another following a year later.

Chelsea Manager Jose Mourinho poses for photographs after the Chelsea press conference at Stamford Bridge on June 2, 2004 in London
Image: Mourinho is introduced as Chelsea manager for the first time

"The biggest ambition I have is to win the first Premiership match on 14 August. The second ambition is to win the second Premiership match on 21 August and we will keep going like this. 

"I hate to work with big squads. I want a small squad - 21 players plus the goalkeepers and no more."

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They did win their first Premier League match, at Stamford Bridge against Manchester United, and the next at Birmingham City, and lost just one game all season as they reached 95 points.

His desire to use a small squad wasn't necessarily achieved in season one, using 30 players, the fourth-highest in the Premier League that season, but the following season he would use just 25, the fourth-lowest. 

In his title-winning campaign of 2014/15, Mourinho also used only 25 players, eight fewer than Manchester United.

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Inter Milan - June 3, 2008

Nearly four years to the day later, it was the Italian media's turn.

The small squad remark popped up once more, and may give us an inkling into whether he will tear apart the underachieving playing staff at Old Trafford.

"When I read the world's press, it seems like I'm going to work with a squad of 60 players. It's not true. I like the players. They're a beautiful team. I don't need a dramatic change in the team. I think we need two or three players to improve and be more competitive."

Image: Mourinho won two Serie A titles and a Champions League at Inter

Then, it was Mourinho's polite dismissal of Inter's history. He will no doubt face questions of 'bringing back the glory days' to Old Trafford, but it seems the 53-year-old will only be looking forward, not back. 

"We have to forget what we have won - that has been won and is history. We need to have new aims. I like to win and always put the past aside and think to the future.

"If somebody tells me that Inter won the league last season, I prefer to say Inter have won it 16 times, but those 16 are now history. I want to change the football philosophy of the team, this is my challenge."

The difference? Inter Milan had won Serie A in three years running up to Mourinho's arrival. He continued the trend, winning two out of two and a Champions League to boot. 

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Real Madrid - May 31, 2010

After a turbulent final six months at Chelsea, some may fear a different Mourinho will turn up in Manchester. Upon his arrival at the Bernabeu in 2010, he made it clear to the press that he comes as he is, warts and all. 

"I am Jose Mourinho and I don't change - I arrive with all my qualities and my defects."

Jose Mourinho and Jorge Valdano at Real Madrid
Image: Mourinho and Jorge Valdano upon his unveiling at Real Madrid

Mourinho has made clear in the past that success is not about individual players, but the team. So, how will he deal with United's big stars, those already there and those incoming?

Faced with the challenge of making sure then-world-record signing Cristiano Ronaldo was a team player, it ended with Mourinho admitting his compatriot had 'not received certain tactical instructions well', in an interview just days after his departure from Real.

But upon his arrival, his intentions were clear...

"I understand that Ronaldo is an important player for Real and for the world of football. But my players must understand that the most important thing is the club.

"Cristiano likes to win, so if he likes to win it is not difficult to persuade him the most important thing is not the coach or the players but the club."

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 05:  Real Madrid Manager Jose Mourinho gives orders to Cristiano Ronaldo during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second le
Image: "My players must understand that the most important thing is the club," Mourinho said at Real

And what about his old friend Louis van Gaal? Will there be any sympathy? When he replaced Manuel Pellegrini at Real, he attributed it to the cut-throat business of football management.

"The sacking of Pellegrini doesn't make me happy. I am never happy when a coach is sacked, but football is like that. I am a coach that has a lot of self-esteem and confidence and I don't think about the possibility of being sacked."

Chelsea, round two - June 10, 2013

"I'm the happy one."

And he was, for two seasons at least. The rebuild took a year before the Premier League title returned to Stamford Bridge in 2015.

In his second Chelsea unveiling he referenced the word 'stability' seven times, 'happy' 22 times and 'different' 13 times. But it all ended up going the same way, and Mourinho was given the sack by Roman Abramovich in December 2015, just seven months after lifting the title. 

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho addresses a press conference at Stamford Bridge in London, on June 10, 2013
Image: Mourinho returned to Chelsea in 2013, winning the Premier League in 2014/15

"You don't speak about weaknesses with your enemy, and my enemy will read the papers and watch television. We hide our weaknesses. Every player, manager has weaknesses. You have to try to hide them. So I'm not giving that chance for the enemy, with respect because, in sports, an enemy is not really an enemy. I know my weaknesses, not much, not many, but I try to improve and hide them."

Does he come to Manchester United with more weaknesses than eight months ago when he left Chelsea? Only time will tell. 

Watch Jose Mourinho's first news conference as Manchester United manager live on Sky Sports News HQ from 11am on Tuesday. and Sky Sports' mobile and iPad apps will also be streaming the news conference, and you can also follow with our live blog

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