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In profile: José Mourinho

Eyebrows were raised at José Mourinho's claims to be a "special one" when he first came to Chelsea, but successes all over Europe have justified his self-belief.

José Mourinho after winning the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League with Inter
José Mourinho after winning the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League with Inter ©Getty Images

The evidence
• Followed up 2002/03 UEFA Cup success by leading Porto to glory in the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League.

• Ended Internazionale Milano's 45-year wait to become European champions for a second time in 2009/10, completing a treble.

• Won league titles with Porto, Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid – eight in total, plus four cups; Mourinho lifted at least a trophy a year from 2002 to 2012.

The expert testimony
"He is a great leader and spectacular manager who has achieved major triumphs in four countries. It's hard to think of anyone else who has done that."
Sir Alex Ferguson, former Manchester United manager

"He has won in every country in which he has coached. He's an example for everyone. He made the most of every team he coached and succeeded in every country."
Didier Deschamps, France coach

"What I learned from Mourinho was never to accept defeat. After being coached by Mourinho, I became a warrior. He infected the whole team with this will to win."
Didier Drogba, former Chelsea forward

"He brought something different: new ideas and the confidence to win something with a Portuguese club. Mourinho had studied the game for a long time, watching other teams, and the good thing was that everything we did in training happened in the game, which gave players confidence in the coach. When you have been prepared for any situation that could happen, it means you are more prepared than the other team."
Deco, former Porto midfielder

José Mourinho with Porto in 2004
José Mourinho with Porto in 2004©Getty Images

The back story
The son of a professional goalkeeper, Mourinho never shone as a player but came into the game as a translator and match analyst for Sir Bobby Robson, whom he worked with at Sporting CP, Porto and Barcelona. After a false start as coach of Benfica, Mourinho found his feet with Leiria, earning himself a move to Porto in January 2002, winning a domestic double and the UEFA Cup in his first full season. The UEFA Champions League followed in his second. Chelsea beckoned soon afterwards.

The method
At ease with a 4-4-2 or 4-5-1 formation, Mourinho has adapted his tactics to the players available. His ability to motivate players has been noted at all of his clubs, while he has carved a reputation as a scientifically minded coach who analyses opponents in forensic detail. His teams have been accused of being excessively defensive, yet their ruthless streak has consistently proved you do not need to dominate possession to win games.

Watch Inter’s 2010 triumph

The take-home quotes
"[On taking over at Chelsea in 2004] I have top players and, I'm sorry, we have a top manager. Please do not call me arrogant because what I say is true. I'm a European champion; I'm not one out of the bottle. I think I'm a special one."

"When you reach my level you don't learn from others, you have to learn from yourself. So I learn every day."

"The Champions League is part of my history and I am part of it. How many great coaches reach the end of their careers without winning it twice? Even if I never win another match in this competition, I have already made history."

"If you try to imitate what others do, you will never reach their level. You have to respect the style of your players. It's very simple."

"My teams are built to win. We have to be dominant to win and that's what my teams try to be."

José Mourinho after winning the 2014/15 Premier League at Chelsea
José Mourinho after winning the 2014/15 Premier League at Chelsea©AFP/Getty Images

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