Real Madrid’s 2-0 victory against Levante on Saturday continued one of the most remarkable records in modern football. From Portugal to Spain via England and Italy, FIFA.com looks back at the nine years since Jose Mourinho lost a league match at home as a coach.
home league matches without defeat is the landmark Mourinho has now reached, a record which spans four different clubs in four different countries – Portugal, England, Italy and Spain. This monumental run began with a 38-game streak at FC Porto, where the Portuguese won back-to-back league titles in 2002/03 and 2003/04 before leaving to join Chelsea. Mourinho made it four domestic championships in a row as the Blues won consecutive Premier League titles. Although those standards could not be maintained, Mourinho left the club in September 2007 having not lost in 60 home Premier League matches, helping to set a new English record along the way. The former interpreter then coached Inter Milan for two seasons between 2008 and 2010, winning Serie A on each occasion and again protecting his record over 38 games.
La Liga wins have so far been posted by Real Madrid at the Bernabeu since Mourinho took over as coach last year, the latest against Levante maintaning the club's 100 per cent home record this season. Mourinho's overall record has yet to come under serious threat during his time in Spain – a laboured maiden win against Osasuna was followed by six-goal hauls against Deportivo La Coruna and Racing Santander, five past Athletic Bilbao and four over Villarreal. Mourinho’s trademark defensive organisation has played its part too, as Los Blancos have conceded just six goals in their 12 home fixtures.
years have now passed since Mourinho suffered a home defeat, his last – and only as a coach - coming at FC Porto. His side were beaten 3-2 by Beira Mar on 23 February 2002, although even that single blemish required circumstances almost beyond the 48-year-old’s control. FC Porto played with ten men from the 25th minute following the dismissal of defender Jorge Andrade and twice had to come from behind, while playmaker Deco also received a red card late in the game to leave the hosts with nine men. Senegal striker Fary Faye scored the winning goal – his second of the match – to inflict the only home league defeat of Mourinho's career.
weeks from now, Mourinho will face possibly the strongest challenge to his record, when Real host great rivals Barcelona on the weekend of 16/17 April. The Portuguese has a strong record against Barça, having knocked them out of the UEFA Champions League with both Chelsea and Inter – notably in last season’s semi-final – but Real were humiliated 5-0 when they faced Pep Guardiola’s side at the Camp Nou in November. With home fixtures against three sides in the bottom half of La Liga before then, Mourinho could well be looking at the arrival of Messi and Co. – increasingly acknowledged as one of the finest club teams of all time – as the greatest threat yet.
times an away side has come close to breaking Mourinho’s run, most notably in one of the earliest matches of the streak. In August 2002, Porto needed a goal seven minutes into injury time from Edgaras Jankauskas to salvage a 2-2 draw against Belenenses. In the Premier League, Birmingham City held a 1-0 lead at Stamford Bridge in 2005 with ten minutes to go but Didier Drogba saved the day on that occasion. The following year Arsenal found themselves in exactly the same position as Birmingham but Michael Essien’s thunderous strike preserved his manager’s record. Mourinho also survived two scares during his time as coach of Inter. Firstly, Atalanta led 3-2 at the San Siro in May 2009 with just ten minutes remaining, but two goals in two minutes from Esteban Cambiasso and Zlatan Ibrahimovic turned the tide in Mourinho’s favour. In January 2010, Inter left it even later to avoid defeat. This time with two minutes left on the clock, Siena also led 3-2 only for another quickfire double – courtesy of Wesley Sneijder and Walter Samuel – to snatch a 4-3 triumph.
Jose Mourinho. Upon his arrival in England, Mourinho told the media that he considered himself “a special one” and given his incredible achievements, the nickname has stuck. Winner of FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football at the recent FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala, Mourinho is considered one of the top coaches in world football and, with this momentous record as evidence, rightly so.