M is for...

uefa.com's A to Z countdown to the UEFA Champions League final continues with some mighty Ms.

As uefa.com Action's A to Z countdown to the UEFA Champions League final on 25 May continues, it is time for some great Ms.

José Mourinho was appointed new manager of Chelsea FC last summer having emphasised his potential as one of Europe's most highly rated coaches by guided former club FC Porto to victory in the Champions League final.

In fact Mourinho's record so far is quite incredible, last season he also steered Porto to a defence of their league title after guiding them to an amazing treble the previous year of a domestic league and cup double and the UEFA Cup where they beat Celtic in the final.

The son of famous Portugal goalkeeper Felix Mourinho, José never played professionally but always had his sights set on a career in coaching. He first came into the spotlight as Bobby Robson's translator at Sporting Clube de Portugal in the early 1990s.

Mourinho's role as a 21st century coach is facilitated by the fact that he speaks several languages, and he has also adopted a scientific view of coaching, sometimes asking his players to study videos of their own performances at home, while also working closely with dietary specialists.

He may have fallen short of the Champions League final this season after Chelsea lost out to Liverpool FC in the all-English semi-final, but having won the Premiership title and the League Cup in his first season in England, his side are already among the favourites for Europe's top club competition in 2005/06.

AC Milan and Paolo Maldini are two names that go hand in hand. The peerless defender is celebrating twenty years at the club this year having been a key factor in all of the Rossineri's successes in recent years, having played over 500 games for the club.

Maldini helped power Milan to the Champions League title in 1993/94 with a crushing 4-0 win against FC Barcelona. He also played a vital defensive role as the Italian giants beat Juventus FC at Old Trafford two years ago to win the 2002/03 Champions League.

The defender, who is Italy's most-capped player with 128 appearances, has made a difference in recent years, but Milan have always been a successful club, lifting their first European Champion Clubs' Cup title in 1962/63, followed by another in 1968/69.

The 2002/03 success was the sixth time Milan have lifted the European Cup, and when you add in their 17 Italian championships, two UEFA Cups and four UEFA Super Cups, you can see why Milan are considered to be one of the true titans of European football.

However, it was modest Olympique de Marseille rather than the mighty Milan who won the first Champions League title back in 1992/93. Basile Boli scored the only goal in the inaugural final at the Olympiastadion in Munich as the French side overcame Milan.

Marseille lined up with big names like Fabien Barthez, Marcel Desailly, Alen Boksic, Rudi Völler and Didier Deschamps on that night, but the scandals that rocked the club in subsequent years marked the end of that team, and it was not until seven years later that Marseille qualified for the group stages again.