Jose Mourinho has decided on his next destination in a coaching career taking in some of the world’s biggest clubs with another stellar location in sight: Manchester United. While arguably one of the most polarising figure in the footballing world, two things have so far been mainstays of his career: trophies and strong opinions.
The tally of the former has been undeniably impressive: a league title in his last five spells at a club, totalling eight spanning across four different countries, winning the UEFA Champions League with two different sides and a further seven domestic cups. His outspoken ways, though, have earned him almost as much attention and notoriety.
The Portuguese, as he has famously professed in the past, is like no other. A master of mind games and using the spoken word to his advantage, he rarely leaves anything to chance. Through charisma and deliberate phrasing, many a time he has drawn the media spotlight away from his players and onto himself, leaving his teams to focus entirely on forthcoming challenges to great effect.
Undoubtedly an eccentric, who often appears to relish theatrics as much as trophies, his methods are ultimately justified by their success, but there is no denying he has held court in a memorable manner over his time from Porto to Chelsea, via Inter Milan and Real Madrid. We review the charismatic leader and motivator’s wittiest and most controversial quotes, often delivered to an open-mouthed audience at one of his legendary press conferences.
"Please don't call me arrogant, but I'm European champion and I think I'm a special one. *We have top players and, sorry if I'm arrogant, we have a top manager."*
Mourinho on his arrival at Chelsea in 2004
"If I wanted to have an easy job I would have stayed at Porto. Beautiful blue chair, the UEFA Champions League trophy, God, and after God, me."
Mourinho, shortly after arriving at the Blues
"He must really think I’m a great guy. He must think that, because otherwise He would not have given me so much. I have a great family. I work in a place where I’ve always dreamt of working. He has helped me out so much that He must have a very high opinion of me."
Mourinho on God.
"If Roman Abramovich helped me out in training we would be bottom of the league, and if I had to work in his world of big business, we would be bankrupt."
Mourinho on Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich
"We didn’t lose. After 120 minutes it was a draw. So we didn’t lose the game."
Mourinho after Chelsea’s cup defeat to Charlton Athletic on penalties
"After all that has happened this season - and that is a lot - I've reached the conclusion that I am a good loser."*
Mourinho on his character and values
"Everybody was waiting for Chelsea not to win every game, and one day when we lose, there will be a holiday in the country."
Mourinho, enjoying a long winning run with Chelsea
"We are on top at the moment but not because of the club's financial power. We are in contention for a lot of trophies because of my hard work."
Mourinho estimating his value as a coach
"I really like this squad and I have great faith in the lads. As of now, I’m Inter’s biggest fan."
Mourinho on his arrival at Inter
"I always wanted to coach a big club in Italy. The job at Inter is a big challenge for me. And I do believe it could be very entertaining for the journalists."
Mourinho takes a realistic view of the future
"I am more scared of the bird flu than football. What is football compared with life?”
Mourinho’s response to mounting pressure
"In training I often play matches of three against three, and when the score reaches 5-4, I send the players back to the dressing room, because they are not defending properly."
Mourinho on his training ground methods
"If they made a film of my life, I think they should get George Clooney to play me. He's a fantastic actor and my wife thinks he would be ideal."
Mourinho’s gaze turns to Hollywood
"It's like having a blanket that is too small for the bed. You pull the blanket up to keep your chest warm and your feet stick out. I cannot buy a bigger blanket because the supermarket is closed. But the blanket is made of cashmere."
**Mourinho commenting on an injury crisis at Chelsea
"Omelettes, eggs. No eggs, no omelettes. And it depends on the quality of the eggs in the supermarket. They are class one, two or three and some are more expensive than others and some give you better omelettes. When the class one eggs are not available you have a problem."
Mourinho on not being able to buy the best players
"I enjoy the work, I enjoy every minute of my professional life."
Mourinho on his passion for coaching
*“Young players are like melons. Only when you open and taste the melon are you 100% sure that the melon is good.” *
Mourinho on the trials of talent-spotting
“You may as well put a cow in the middle of the pitch, walking. And then stop the game because there was a cow.”
Mourinho on the challenges of dealing with time-wasting
“It’s not important how we play. If you have a Ferrari and I have a small car, to beat you in a race I have to break your wheel or put sugar in your tank.” *
Mourinho on criticisms of his Inter Milan side’s playing style
*“When I go to the press conference before the game, in my mind the game has already started.” *
Mourinho on his attitude to working with the media
*“I’m not Harry Potter. He is magical, but in reality there is no magic. Magic is fiction and football is real." *
Mourinho on his early struggles at Real Madrid
*"I think everybody has an interest in [Paul] Pogba. But there are things you can do and things you cannot do. I love the Eiffel Tower but I can’t have the Eiffel Tower in my garden. I can’t even have the Eiffel Tower of Las Vegas.” *
Mourinho on the realities of the transfer market
"I think the best place to work in football is England."
Mourinho on England
"To become Manchester United manager is a special honour in the game. It is a club known and admired throughout the world. There is a mystique and a romance about it which no other club can match."
Mourinho on being appointed Manchester United manager