Jose Mourinho formally introduced himself to the football world and became a huge media figure
the moment he raced down that Old Trafford touchline following Costinha’s goal that knocked
out Manchester united from the UEFA Champions league in 2004 and when he proclaimed himself to
be the special one during his first interview after his then club Porto defeated Monaco in the final
to lift the cup that was when the media fully realized they are in for a treat with this guy.
What a roller coaster ride it has been, with Jose (as he is fondly called by many) the media always
know they’ll get headline material and he very rarely disappoints, an insider friend who works
for Chelsea once told me how it’s sometime a jostle to gain entry to a Mourinho press conference due to its impending suspense and
drama, interestingly it has always lived up to its billing. His rivalry with then Manchester United
coach Sir Alex Ferguson was ignited with that Porto/United Champions league clash in 2004 and
it transcended to the English Premier League when he took over helm of affairs from Claudio Ranieri
aka (Tinker man)at Chelsea, his first stint at the club were action packed. He was able to establish Chelsea as a force to reckon with in the scheme of things in the premier league and Europe (some will argue Abramovich millions played a vital role in that)
thereby curtailing the dominance of Manchester United and Arsenal. With all that came the player
sagas(The infamous William Gallas case readily comes to mind)medals, mind games and intense rivalries, the media found a darling, a no holds barred kind of persona, he says whatever is on his mind. With Sir Alex Ferguson it was an intense
rivalry with a mixture of mutual respect and the usual mind games strategies attached but with his
other competitors Arsene Wenger of Arsenal and then Liverpool Manager Rafael Benitez he really
got to their nerves with his antics and outbursts and the media really benefited from that.
On one of his several spats with Wenger, he said “Wenger has a real problem with us and I think he
is what you call in England a voyeur, he is someone who likes to watch other people, there
are some guys who when they are at home have this big telescope to look into the homes of other
people and see what is happening, Wenger must be one of them and I think it is a sickness” I still
recall vividly the huge uproar and sports headlines those statements elicited that the FA had to wade
in, the media didn’t fail to feast on that too. In 2005,after the Champions league semifinals, he
had this to say while questioning the validity of Luis Garcia’s goal which knocked Chelsea out of
the Competition “I felt the power of Anfield, it was magnificent, I felt it, it didn’t interfere with my
players but maybe it did with other people and maybe interfered with the result” all those statements established Mourinho as a top Box
Office hit with the media, they wanted headline material and he always gives them that, England
didn’t have monopoly of the frenzy as Europe also got a taste of the action from time to time, with
the Barcelona clashes being the most popular, on his first clash with the Catalan giants under
Manager Frank Rijkaard he taunted them with “Barcelona are a
great club but in 200 years of history, they have won the European cup once, I have been
managing for a few years and I have already won the same amount “a Barcelona fan confessed how pained he was by that outburst “it shows a total
lack of class and respect “he reacted angrily.
The most famous Mourinho controversy definitely has to be when he lost to Spanish giants Barcelona in 2006 after being given a touchline ban for an
earlier offence, he said “when I saw Frank Rijkaard entering the Referee’s room, I couldn’t believe it
and when Didier Drogba was sent off I wasn’t surprised” this generated a massive uproar across
the globe, drew a lot of responses, Anders Frisk who refereed the match couldn’t handle the whole
pressure and retired from the game altogether prematurely.
Following his departure from Chelsea in 2006,he went on to manage Inter and Real Madrid, those sojourns brought with them experiences and maturity as far as Jose is concerned(I feel he has
been more greatly affected by the events in Madrid though)He confessed himself to being a
New Mourinho a manager with a more mature philosophy and outlook on issues and
relationships, referring to Arsene Wenger a few days ago he mentioned “I’ve come to know him
better now, he’s a good man and a great manager,I was joking with him when we met in Switzerland
to teach me how to stay at one club for 17 years” this goes a long way to show Jose Mourinho’s new
approach to his second stint at the club of his life.
Whatever happens I believe media would find Jose a bit boring this time around unlike his first spell
but the Media’s loss is a gain for Football because it means less controversies and better enjoyment
of the game.

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