May 24th, 2010
10:16 AM ET

Mourinho the master will bring magic to Madrid

Jose Mourinho lifts the European Cup for the second time in Madrid.
Jose Mourinho lifts the European Cup for the second time in Madrid.

A tactical master class in Madrid saw Jose Mourinho give Internazionale their first European Cup since 1965. In two years at the San Siro, the charismatic and controversial Portuguese coach built a team that relied on hard work, discipline and resilience to become kings of the continent once more.

I saw it coming. Leading up to the semifinal tie against Barcelona, I wrote that Inter would eliminate the defending champions and go on to win the title. My opinion was formed after watching the Italian giants teach Chelsea a footballing lesson that Carlo Ancelotti will not forget anytime soon. So, indeed, they went on to contain the almighty Barca and then prevailed against Bayern.

There are many unsung heroes in Inter’s line-up. I have always been a big fan of Esteban Cambiasso. The way he plays is so simple and he makes the creative players around him shine. As we say in Portugal, he carries the piano so other ones can play it.

It is astounding to me that he has not been picked for Argentina’s World Cup squad. His compatriot Walter Samuel will be in South Africa and during Inter’s victorious campaign he lived up to his nickname of "The Wall." The ferocious tackler was simply insurmountable at the center of Inter’s defense.

Back to Mourinho. I know coaches do not score goals and they do not win games, but he was highly influential throughout Inter’s victorious campaign and Saturday’s final. He spun a defensive web that had the best teams in Europe trapped, dazed and confused, unable to find a way out and unable to break them down.

His style has been criticized for its disregard of entertaining football, but you have to respect his managerial skills and ability to get the best out of his players at all times.

So what now for Jose? Another fascinating challenge as he takes the reins at Real Madrid. It is a match made in football heaven, isn’t it?

Well, some may say it is a combustible situation. A mix that would put world's most high-profile club which has ruthlessly hired and fired ten coaches in as many years in their pursuit of glory, in the hands of a coach who likes to do things his own way and demands loyalty.

The explosive potential could lead to disaster, however, we should all know better than that by now. My understanding is that Mourinho has been offered a four-year-deal worth a reputed $12 million per season - a contract that should ensure some much-needed stability in direction for the club.

Even though Real have not won the European Cup in eight years and have been knocked out in the last 16 consistently, they will be a different proposition with Mourinho.

He will surely bring in some familiar faces (Maicon, Diego Milito) that are already well-versed in his football philosophy, and then he will go out and get a star player to complement his midfield.

Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard are possibilities. Whoever he gets and however he builds his team, you can be sure of one thing. He will be successful.

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soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Marco

    I agree that this move will be dynamite – great club with players and a great coach it is a recipy for GREATNESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 24, 2010 at 11:31 am | Reply
  2. fk

    you got to just admire the man, he's big inspiration not only to his players but also football fans

    May 24, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Reply
  3. chimdumaga

    Mourinho is great,no doubt.However,his proposed move to real madrid will either make or mar his coaching career.

    May 24, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Reply
  4. Yinka Iyiola - Lagos, Nigeria

    Mourinho is a great performer. Football is not just entertaining but winning. He has proved once again that he is better than his equals.

    May 24, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Reply
  5. Sammy T

    I entirely agree with you, Mourinho's reign at R/madrid will be another Success story, His tactics, philosophy, acumen and a few world class players (of which madrid is capable of acquiring) will revive Madrid glory,,,,,

    May 24, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Reply
  6. Felix

    I am sorry for Mr. Abramovich he must be regretting and chelsea fans generally. Mourinho has been a winner and he will be successful the furture whether at R/Madrid or else where.

    May 24, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Reply
  7. Tarantu

    Mourinho and C. Ronaldo together?? Portugal would wish to have that combination going into the World Cup..

    With Villa signing for Barca and Mourinho Signing for Real Madrid, the gap between the first 2 and the rest in Spain will only get bigger.. cant say that it is a compliment for Spanish football..

    May 24, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Reply
  8. Damian

    Mourinho can revive Real Madrid and become the best ever he will have the stats to prove it. Sorry Barca fans.

    May 24, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Reply
  9. charlie

    Big JM fan. RM, however, is the enemy.

    May 24, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Reply
  10. Edgar

    Mourinho's defensive style is a perfect match for Italian football, but it will not work for Spanish Football. Fans in Spain are used to a more offensive style of play a more entertaining football. They must be when teams spend upwards of 300 million Euros a season to bring the best talent of the Planet. Just take for example what he did with Eto, one of the best strikers in the planet, is now playing defense on the right wing. Imagine if Mourinho did this with Ronaldo? He can't and he won't, he know this. He will have to play a style of football that is unknown to him. This team will be his ultimate downfall.

    May 24, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Reply
  11. kingsley

    For all the economium bestowed on this guy....if he's that good....it would be fun to watch him succeed with a struggling team in terms finance.

    Mourinho to me is like Harvard university admitting students who needs no teacher. Which first class brain student can not shine in any university of the world? Watch out the teams he goes for....there's always money to buy what he wants.

    saying he achieved a fantastic result with team that isn't as talented is an insult to the great players of Inter!

    May 24, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Reply
  12. emmanuel

    mourinho is going 2 breatk record in r/madrid that is true

    May 24, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Reply
  13. Ololade Toyin

    I must tell you, Mourinho his one of the best coach in the world, take it or leave it. UP MOURINHO, UP INTER.

    May 24, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Reply
  14. brian helen

    For sure he's a great in the wolrd and anything is possible as he describe himself being ambitoius to be the first coach in the world by winning 3 times champion's league with 3 differents club

    May 24, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Reply
  15. Matt Ajayi ,Lagos

    I became a Mourinho fan from the day he lead non favourites FC Porto to win the Champions League Title.He remains the most focused coach in Club Football today,he totally gets it , that the Fans want to win trophies and thats what counts at the end of every final .he lead Inter to european glory after 45 years and the first treble in italy ,who can expect that from Inter Milan .Only Mourinho can deliever results like this,he will lead Real Madrid back to GREATNESS thats for sure...... A Focused tactical and resource efficient manager delivering results after results is MOURINHO

    May 24, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Reply
  16. jeram

    @kingsley,

    If your reasoning is on point, then Real Madrid and Barcelona should be the champions now.

    Real Madrid did not win because they only rely on the strength of the superstars' individual play.

    Barcelona did not win even with the combination of superstar skills and teamwork. They lost because they have porous defense and weak tactical plays.

    They were not able to overcome the wall defense of Inter. You have to be blind or ignorant of football if you didn't see brilliant football tactical offensive and defensive plays designed by Inter's coach.

    You could see from the look of bewilderment in the face of the the best player on the planet. Inter's defense made Messi appear like an ordinary player.

    The genius of JM's tactics is making defense as offense. Conventional wisdom teaches that the best defense is offense. Most coaches think that way, and paid dearly.

    May 24, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Reply
  17. judah ukwedje

    u r d greatest of all time when it comes to football.u made me love chelesa then inter milan nowgo i will always follow u anywhere

    May 24, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Reply
  18. Manny

    I would like to see Mourinho, once he's done with winning all there is to win with the big clubs, to go back to Vitoria de Setubal and reshape that team in a way it would become one of the big Portuguese teams! That would be a pretty interesting challenge, right up to his alley! Mourinho does rule!

    May 24, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Reply
  19. kumlachew asmare

    Though i hate Jose Mourinho due to his unpleasant football, i can not deny that he is a successful and mindful coach. I am surprised when i realized Madrid who are playing a beautiful football approached Jose who is fond of playing negative football. I am afraid football keeps on losing its beauty.

    May 24, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Reply
  20. Paulo Cesar

    I am absolutely convinced that FOOTBALL is an industry, and above all it is a Business, where the richer has wider chances of surviving than the poorer.
    No doubt about it....But, for me, regarding Mr Mourinho as the best football coach in the world, sounds too much... Exagerated, indeed.. He is a good football manager, he has worked with most obscures Club's chairmen on earth.
    I really would take my hat off, if Mourinho could win a trophy with a Poorer team. Can anyone see Mourinho leading a team like BOLTON, in England?
    I disagree with the way he is offering himself to Real Madrid.. It is rude, because Real still has a manager...
    The way he admitted publicly that he wants to win the champions league in three different clubs sounds a mercenary thing.. Mourinho does not love the clubs he works for, he simply feeds his ego.

    May 24, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Reply
  21. Miguel

    At the end of the day, Mourinho wins. He has done so with Porto (in two years, he won the UEFA and the Champion's League!), he got Chelsea back to winning titles and now gave Inter what they had long wished for. He knows more about football than any other coach out there. And this time he will have players to match his talents. He did not have those in Chelsea or Inter. He didnt have any Ronaldo or Messi or Kaka, though he did have very good players. Now he will have top players. Can't wait to see that.🙂

    May 24, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Reply
  22. Faustino Gomez

    It's going to take more than Mourinho to triumph in Madrid. Real has had a different( some winners) each year for six years now. If he makes to past the first year I'l be surprised. The fans are the big question mark.

    May 24, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Reply
  23. alex onyeonwu

    I don't think Mourinho would succeed at madrid because for madrid is nt matter of winning but how you win it,ask Capello. Mourinho can't win any trophy by playing beautiful football and what madristas are longing for is that beautiful football that their arch-rivals barcelona are playing.

    May 24, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Reply
  24. Omar

    In Real,he either make or break,and my answer to them,Mourinho is no angel.Why,that's why football has the most number of players and also the no.1 in the world.In football,theres nothing of a sure win even though you get the best of the best players together playing in a dream team.So when Mourinho is concerned,you may say something like Muhammad Ali in boxing,he'll proved them wrong,with that small percentage of LUCK.

    May 24, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Reply
  25. ike brown

    MOU is simply phenomenal. only jealous ones will say mou isn't
    good. porto wasn't the richest club in europe when mou carried
    them through 2 european titles. what else do guys want from him. People like mou are those powerful ones who mark history. this is his time and no one goona stop him.

    May 24, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Reply
  26. Wil

    I totally disagree with Pedro Pinto, that obviously defends his country man. Mourinho will be a disaster to the club, specially if Florentino Perez is President, because you find a President who likes things done his way and a coach that works the same way around. The second reason why Mourinho is not a good option for Real Madrid, is because you can´t put a defensive coach in a team that has an offensive style, a philosophy of having the top players, to play beautiful to win championships. I´m a Real Madrid fan, but I´m very sad for the decision of the Club.

    May 24, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Reply
  27. teeqqi

    All of you on this blog, opposing Mourinho are fools. You are just jealous because you cant do what he does. F.C Porto don't have stars the time he took them to glory neither did inter besides E'toe. So to say that he cant win with a team that don't have much fund to spend, is a big lie. What you critics of Jose don't know is, that the man has God given wisdom,that he always transform to his player to perform miracle on the pitch. Spanish style football is not enough to please the fans. One have to win matches and trophies as a manager. That's what exactly Mourinho gonna do for Real Madrid. I'll definitely become a Real fan, if Jose takes on the job as the coach.

    May 24, 2010 at 8:05 pm | Reply
  28. themissinglink

    Mourinho is a good coach, plays well the "spirit of siege" with his players (it's always them against the world). This works for a while, then the baloon deflates and Mourinho has to go somewhere else. The good part is that he has been leaving the last 3 clubs on the crest of the wave.
    The same cannot be said about his character. He didn´t have to embarass Moratti and his team, not to speak of Pellegrini (the incumbent RM coach), by announcing his intent to move to RM before the Champions League final.
    After all, he was lucky that such a vain and stupid gesture didn´t hit him in rith back in the face. For that, he must thank Milito.

    May 24, 2010 at 11:38 pm | Reply
  29. ghostken.

    there it is, jose is a man who brings glory to any club he leads no doubt if he is picked to lead Real then expect nothing less than victory at santiago. Barcalone hate or love him coz winning any major trophy in spain and entire europe will become a thing of the past. i love morinho cause he caltivated my interest in football and a simply love him because of his mind n psychological games. Real offer jose both coaching n manageral role n don't regret when he offer to sell the thouhgt best players for morinho knows who are smartest players n knows hoW to source them.

    May 25, 2010 at 1:55 am | Reply
  30. VNpilot

    Mourinho? This name is widely recognized even here, Phnom Penh the city of Cambodia. This guy is just greater than a great Manager. Without him Inter might have to wait more decades to see this happen. Well, Inter fan out there I would cheering you guy to wish the MAN a good luck in his career; he'd done more than just enough for Intermilan. You have to let him go just like you let L Ronaldo leave years ago. Hope you’ll have a good memory of him and let the memory lives in Italian football history.

    May 25, 2010 at 3:29 am | Reply
  31. ta ngoc thanh

    i see that he is a talent coach and can help inter's dream becom true.
    I thinh he would succeed at Madrid like at Inter.

    May 25, 2010 at 7:31 am | Reply
  32. Jason

    Mourinho will be the right medicine required by Real Madrid. Jose is a winner in all aspects. I believe Real Madrid's major problems have been in defense. For countless years, the coaches have not been able to implement a proper defensive pattern into this team. Jose can bring this to Real Madrid.

    Jose is a proven winner in all competitions of all formats whether it'd be the league or Cup competitions. He can physically and mentally prepare his players for all different scenarios. He will be a great asset to Real Madrid.

    May 25, 2010 at 9:07 am | Reply
  33. Dr. Cajetan Coelho

    Senhor Jose Mourinho is a guy who brings out the best from the boys under his charge. He can read the game well and is able to anticipate things and plan his strategies accordingly. The boys respond to his call and fetch him handsome results at the highest level.

    In India we have Shri Armando Colaço who has been extremely successful as football manager of mighty Dempo Sports Club of Goa. Former India international footballer Colaço has been at the helm for almost a decade and has brought his club from Division Two to Division One and has pocketed the national title not once but four times besides winning accolades in other All India Football Tournaments.

    Felix Magath in Germany, McLaren in the Netherlands, Michel Preud'homme in Belgium, Josep Guardiola at Barça, Laurent Blanc and Deschamps in France are showing fresh skills of man management in football. These hugely talented managers look set to dominate the football horizon in Europe.

    May 25, 2010 at 9:54 am | Reply
  34. Amanuel Babu

    Actually ,Mourinho is great coach!
    BUT,you'll never ever see the same MOURINHO again in Madrid.
    No more JOSE!
    It's over!

    May 25, 2010 at 11:20 am | Reply
  35. Omardampha

    I am sow that if morinho come to madred he will be beter than the any maneger they have in this pas six yers.

    May 25, 2010 at 11:29 am | Reply
  36. cj

    i sew moriho as bbeing lucky.he cant be as lucky again rel madrid

    May 25, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Reply
  37. Danny

    Jose Mourinho is a classic coach whose performance skills should not be underestimated by any of rivals. He is a coach who conceives performace excellence at the back of his mind and communicate the same to his wards. His reign at Chelsea in London and the subsequent hard earning glorious success with Inter Milan is a worthy proof of who the man "the special one" is. The relationship he built at Chelsea became obvious again on Saturday when Arjen Robben hugged his former boss and both had great relationship while the championship watching was underway. It is crystal clear that Mr. Special One will surely make the richest club in the world so special with European precious cup and other available during his next two years reign in Madrid.

    May 25, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Reply
  38. Katsande

    Provided Perez and company miraculously become patient with a coach, Mourinho should be able to get Madrid up to were they want – above Barca. But that would need Barca to either decline or maintain their standard of play which is not out of the question, I mean look at Ibrahimovic for instance, is he giving to Barca more than what Etoo gave? I dont think so and I can foresee a negative gradient for Barca going forward. Mourinho and Ronaldo on the other hand is almost definitely a successful combination and if I can see Mourinho bringing Kaka back from the dead and combining him with Ronaldo and Villa to create something even Barca might be amuzed with! Good Luck to him!

    May 25, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Reply
  39. Luca SG

    Yes, Mourihno is a great coach. But please don't forget the referee's mistakes at Inter – Chelsea at S. Siro, as well as Chelsea's goalkeeper missing the game back in London.

    Sometimes it is not the best team to win (Chelsea).

    Mourihno will miss Inter: it is not easy to build up a team like that ... which has become so confident and so aware of its strenghts after ....winning a Champions' League Title !

    May 25, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Reply
  40. gkedpage

    Mourihno is a master when it comes to managerial skills but he can't tame Real Madrid!!La Liga is going to be with Barcelona!!
    Go Barca!!

    May 25, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Reply
  41. David

    I strongly agree with the article by Pedro Pinto. Hardwork, discipline, Teamwork- thats what a football team need. Maurinho is th right man for Real FC. Why people talk about 'beautiful football' ? Every player kick the same ball. Attacking is not the only way of playing, it has to be in tally with defence. Team like Arsenal or wahtever, they claim, they play beautiful, DAMN IT, WITH OUT TROPHY FOR MORE THAN 5 YEARS. Football is just about winning as a team, Sometimes, Defensive or attacking. Mind you guys, Maurinho will attack his opponent according to his plan and necessity like he attack the English Champion Chelsea, The spanish Champion Barca in San Siro. Longlive Jose... and best wishes for your new Challenge in Real Madrid in the real world

    May 26, 2010 at 5:39 am | Reply
  42. fk

    i dont think mou is entirely defensive, you should look back at how he made drogba a scoring machine back when he was at chelsia, then look at diego milito, i for once didnt know him at all until this year's champions league. my point is that mourinho doesnt need popular players to win but he's got an ability of bringing out the best of all his players regardless of their class . thats why he stresses on the team as the star and not the stars.

    he would make a good rival for barca's pep.

    May 26, 2010 at 11:45 am | Reply
  43. raphael

    mourinho is the best coach in the world so far.and he can revive the greatness in madrid.barca becareful cos the special one is coming!!

    May 26, 2010 at 12:09 pm | Reply
  44. luszon

    good news

    May 26, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Reply
  45. Lanre Efizeey

    There is no dispute that it is not only an atom of luck that drives J.M. His talent cannot be over emphaized, although you must admit he is arroganct and proud. I see him doing well in R.M not solely becos of the calibre of players @ his disposal but bcos of the fact that he brings a drive to every team that makes even the cripled players rise up and walk. Lets watch and see, to me he makes football a drama and thats entertaining enough.

    May 26, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Reply
  46. marcos

    I just wish he could coach the Brazilian national team

    May 26, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Reply
  47. kasonde

    real madrids president florentino peres and sporting dirrector george valdano r the problems @ real. They sold robben n snijder despite pellgrini portesting. Peres was the guy who ruined real when thier best coach refused peres interfing with the squad.mr vincente del bosque the current spain coach.he led 2 champions league titles in 2000 and 2002 and 2001 and 2003. Jose would want control of the team but peres n valdano will alwayz interfere.he wont last 5 yearz with those 2 morans.

    May 27, 2010 at 10:51 am | Reply
  48. Pope Onguka

    Although he(Jose) does not have an ideal resume' as a footballer,he's sure enough one of the best coaches if not the best.Hope my Idol Wenger agrees with this.

    May 27, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Reply
  49. joshua

    Mourinho will perform well at Real Madrid. He is going to bring out the best in C Ronaldo. i wish him the best.

    May 27, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Reply
  50. PST TIMOTHY EKE

    HI PEDRO , I LIKE YOUR WRITING , AND YOU ARE GOOD IN WHAT YOU DO . WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD FOR NIGERIAN TEAM ,IN SOUTH AFRICA. I HAVE BOUGHT MY WORLD CUP TICKET SINCE LAST JULY , BUT FIFA HAS NOT SEND MY CONFIRMATION SO I CAN APPLY FOR MY ENTRY VISA TO SOUTH AFRICA . I DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO . I PAID $160 USD , THEY HAVE BEEN SENDING ME EMAIL THAT I WILL GET IT B/4 END OF MAY ,BUT NOTHING HAS COME IN . HAVE A NICE DAY PASTOR TIMOTHY EKE

    May 28, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Reply
  51. Gurufootball

    I mean think about it do people just say things for the sake of contradiction?
    The facts are simple 18 major trophies in 10 year career, that’s Moreno’s resume. Real the richest and most winning club in history currently possesses several of the best players in the world. He already began to exercise his shopping list, just like he did upon arriving in Milan. I mean who wants to bet that this isn’t going to work? All this talk of Madridistas wanting to win pretty that’s nonsense they like everyone else want to win period maybe by the 4th year they may start to complaint about pretty. But how can they not win pretty with the likes of CR9 and Kaka once he tweaks the midfield and defense?

    May 29, 2010 at 12:07 am | Reply
  52. AUSTIN

    I THINK MOU HAS ALL IT TAKES TO BRING THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE TO REAL CONSIDERING HIS TRACK RECORD AS A COACH YOU WILL WELL AGREE WITH ME THAT HIS THE REAL SPECIAL ONE.
    THANK YOU

    May 29, 2010 at 5:53 am | Reply
  53. Katie

    Oh geesh,

    I am inlove with the special one since Chelsea..he is so delectable!

    I will watch him every step of the way till the final whistle blows and he has the trophy in his hands at Madrid, then I want him back in the Premiur League to take the reins at Manchester United when Sir Alec retires lol.

    May 30, 2010 at 8:45 am | Reply
  54. Prince

    I hope he bring out the best in the madrid squard, and the glories of madrid. Hala madrid

    June 1, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Reply
  55. abdulkarim in kano Nigeria

    personally i want him to succeed and i want to win the league with madrid this season and if possible the champion league, i'l continue to pray for his success.

    December 23, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Reply

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