Please don’t call me arrogant, but I’m European Champion and I think I’m a special one.
In nine seasons of European Football Jose Mourinho has won seven domestic leagues, four domestic cup trophies, one UEFA Cup (now Europa League), and 2 UEFA Champions Leagues with four separate clubs. Mourinho has been awarded ‘Manager of the Year’ six times in three different leagues, and the 2010 FIFA Ballon d’Or Best Manager. With the success he has had for each of his clubs, there is no denying Mourinho deserves his nickname, ‘the Special One’.
Under Mourinho FC Porto won six trophies, including one UEFA Cup and one UEFA Champions League. Mourinho departed for Chelsea in 2004. In London, Mourinho won six trophies before continual disagreements with owner Abramovich led to his midseason firing. After a short sabbatical, the Special One returned to football as manager at Inter Milan. In two seasons the Nerazzurri won five trophies, including the 2009-10 European Treble. Mourinho has been managing Real Madrid since 2010, where he has already won three trophies.
Madrid are aware of Mourinho’s success, and has already won them trophies. However if los Blancos are considereing replacing Mourinho, and any club that hires him in the future, will need to be aware of the effect he has on clubs once he has left. Porto, Chelsea and Inter have all experienced the ‘Post-Mourinho Effect’, they have had difficulty in maintaining managers after the success they experienced with the Special One.
Mourinho learnt his trade under Bobby Robson and Louis van Gaal in Portugal and Barcelona. After brief management stints at Benfica and Leiria, Mourinho took over at Porto. By the end of the 2002-03 season, Porto had won the league, domestic cup and UEFA Cup. After the 2003-04 season they had won the league a second time and the UEFA Champions League.
Since Mourinho departed for Chelsea in 2004, Porto has had trouble maintaining constant management. Mourinho’s replacement, Luigi Delneri lasted a little over one month before his sacking. Three more managers were fired, and two resigned, including Andre Villas-Boas who followed Mourinho’s footsteps to Chelsea.
Mourinho’s arrival at Stamford Bridge made headlines with his ‘Special One’ comment to the media. In one season Chelsea won the Premier League and the League Cup. Mourinho added another Premier League the next season, and the FA Cup and League Cup the season after. Chelsea claimed Mourinho’s sudden departure was decided upon by ‘mutual consent’. He left as Chelsea’s most successful manager.
The Blues have also suffered from the post-Mourinho effect. Rafael Benitez is Chelsea’s eighth manager since the Special One. Five managers have been fired, while two were only caretaker managers in charge for brief periods.
Inter Milan became Mourinho’s next club when he became manager in 2008. In his first season, the Nerazzurri won the Serie A. His second season proved to be more successful. With Inter receiving the Serie A, Coppa Italia and UEFA Champions League, Mourinho had won his second treble.
Five managers have been in charge at Inter since Mourinho’s departed for Real Madrid. Three were fired and one, former AC Milan manager Leonardo, resigned. The Special One’s replacement, Rafael Benitez, did not last a full season at Inter, and has now taken over at Chelsea.
Mourinho arrived in Madrid with the task to overthrow Barcelona. In his first season los Blancos won the Copa del Rey, defeating Barca in the final. However, Barca knocked Madrid out of the 2011-12 season’s Cup, but Mourinho’s men overtook Barca to win the Spanish la Liga.
With only three throphies from two seasons, the Special One will be extra determined this season to come. Barca has already taken an impressive lead in la Liga, so Mourinho will need to exert all his efforts into the Champions League. With his impressive record, there is little doubt he will add to his trophy collection soon. However, the records also show the difficulty clubs have post-Mourinho.
If it can be said with any certainty that the Special One will win his clubs trophies, then it can be said with equal certainty that these clubs will have troubled times after his departure. Clubs should be warned, therefore, that although hiring Mourinho may bring results, it will bring difficulty in Mourinho’s absence.