April 4th, 2011
02:40 PM ET

Marvelous Mourinho record falls – but will it ever be beaten?

Will Mourinho's milestone ever be bettered?
Will Mourinho's milestone ever be bettered?

Nothing lasts forever. We hear it all the time, yet I have to admit I was shocked when Jose Mourinho’s home unbeaten league streak came to an end on Saturday in Spain.

This has to be hailed as one of the most impressive runs in the history of sport. He went 150 games without suffering a single home defeat in domestic championships with four clubs in four countries across nine years. No other coach in any other major sport has come close to this amazing record, and in my opinion no-one else ever will.

What makes this streak most impressive is that sport is so unpredictable and reliant on chance. The outcome of a game often depends on the bounce of a ball or the rub of the green. Sometimes it goes your way, sometimes it doesn't.

That means that as a coach, during any given game, you can only do so much to minimize the impact of those certain variables you cannot control, and it is for his work in this department that Mourinho deserves the most praise. His preparation work with his players, both tactically and psychologically, is nothing short of awesome.

Recently, I had the chance to talk to Arjen Robben about Mourinho. He told me that, in his mind, Mourinho had an unparalleled ability for being able to say the right thing at the right time to players who mattered. For every home game it seems Mourinho is able to put his players in a frame of mind where they feel unable to lose. He has always been able to convince his pupils that they are the best players on the planet, and this belief means, whether they are great or not, they play above themselves in the manner he expects.

As important as the psychological component has been to Mourinho’s success, we cannot forget the tactical analysis and research done by his coaching team. For several years, his close-knit circle of scouts has analyzed and researched every player and every team they have ever faced.

Frequently, his players get documents with statistics on their opponents. Not just general statistics, but numbers and percentages of details like how many times their direct opponents dribbled right, dribbled left, made long passes, short passes, etc. In other words, he has always given his pupils the right tools to break down their opponents.

So now that this amazing streak has come to an end, let’s put it into context. As far as football is concerned, in the research I did, I couldn’t find any other coach who had come close.

Louis Van Gaal managed to go 43 matches undefeated at home with Ajax from 1995 to 1997, but in recent history, in all the major leagues, no-one can boast any other significant streaks. However you look at it, it is a special run by a special manager and I wager his watermark will not be bettered in my lifetime.

Posted by ,
Filed under:  Football
soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. Tobias

    As an Arsenal fan, at first I found his ARROGANCE (yes capital letters) very irritating. But occasionally when the disdain ebbs off, I acknowledge he is truly a special coach. Sucks to say it but is true.

    April 4, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Reply
  2. Bert

    This is league games only isn't it?

    April 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Reply
  3. Constantine

    All the clubs that he had inherited had already have a backbone of quality players that needed a top notch manager to steer them all the way to the zenith of footballing success.

    Yes, Mourinho is a top manager and is probably the best manager on the planet right now. Pep Guardiola and Sir Alex Ferguson are quality contenders to that title as well.

    However, a really good manager is one that can turn a mid table club, or perhaps a relatively less successful club into a winning outfit. I believe clubs like Athletico Madrid, Valencia, AS Roma, Liverpool, Newcastle United would be really challenging places to work at, if you are giving the manager the target of winning the domestic league.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  4. Gary

    Dear Tobias
    are you saying that you are somehow unaccustomed to ARROGANCE at Arsenal? Come off it now.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Reply
  5. jorgerosa

    Tobias, I agree with you 100%! Indeed he seems to be arrogant, but if we could say, "I´m the best in my profession" and we could prove it... Anyways... "arrogant" is the word that press uses to describe him, but try to ask to ANY player coached by him... You wouldnt find even ONE!!! (Press have tried it already) And yes, this is what I say its a real record! Great man!

    April 4, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Reply
  6. alba1967

    Nice photo.

    April 4, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Reply

    it is true the record of "The Biggest Coach Ever" has been broken. but, lets not forget and always remember that JOSE will never be forgotten as one of the greatest coach ever,

    April 4, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Reply
  8. Eduard Oriol

    What a Mourinho groupie you are mister...I get it you're both portuguese and such...but can you really write something else besides how amazing Real and La Liga are because they have Mourinho and Ronaldo?!?

    I mean the guy just lost the title to Barcelona and here we are again talking about how GREAT his achievements are (even in defeat lolol).

    Instead of wasting time posting this kind of useless crap, why dont you talk about the chances Real has to get any silverware this season?...Can they win the Spanish Cup against Barça?!? What about the Champions League?!

    May I remember you that while he might be a GREAT manager he is in Real Madrid "to create a solid unit who COULD WIN on a short-term basis" like YOU once said, and not to break personal records...

    So far, and by comparison with last year, I've only seen improvements on the Champions League campaign, yeah because there wasnt nothing "Special" about Mourinho when he was violated at Camp Nou (5-0)...

    April 4, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Reply
  9. Mo

    Don't forget that Jose's record was broken in Spain. If he had started his career in La Liga, I don't think he would have made such record.

    April 4, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Reply
  10. naydoo

    He is a coach many other coaches'd would love to hate but hate to love. He is arrogant, he full of himself, he is this, he is that but he's been able to prov e himself on several ground. He simply delivers. He has records everywhere he goes which simply makes him exceptional. Please is there any other word better than THE SPECIAL? Even his antagonists would openly call him that. He is truely the SPECIAL ONE as far as football is concerned presently. Thumbs up Mourinho!!!

    April 4, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Reply
  11. alehandro

    Full marks to Mourinho. His teams don't always entertain but they do get results. Clearly as his unbeaten home record spanned different clubs it's the coach more than the players who deserve the applause. Pity he can't match his coaching ability with a more pleasing personality, but credit where credit is due.

    April 4, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Reply
  12. Chuks

    This is a coach I have not really been a fan of. However, I have to admit the truth.........In my mind, this guy has always been the best coach I have known. Truly THE SPECIAL ONE!!!..............Another Arsenal & EPL fan

    April 4, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Reply
  13. Varun

    Mourinho record doesn't matter.

    Coach undefeated at Home for 150 games.

    Whats next "insignificant record" should we talk about.

    April 4, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Reply
  14. W

    Wow only eight paragraphs to explain which sport you were talking about.

    Now is this American football or what?

    April 4, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Reply
  15. edet boco

    I want monriho 2 take over man utd when sir alex resigns i need him badly pls.

    April 4, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Reply
  16. Onuigbo Olisa Francis

    As a man-u fan I recommed mourinho for such a long determined quest of not recording a home defeat it is realy not easy for him but he had make a history for playing at home for 150 matches without a lost I don't think any coach will do such a long term work up man-u 4 life. I love C Ronaldo style in playing balls

    April 4, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Reply
  17. bright eguasa

    He has been able to prove his competence with various clubs in different leagues,what more ...His records are empirical proofs of his coaching prowess and in-depth knowledge of the round leather game.will his home record ever be beaten? hmmmm...it's NO for the nearest future.mourinho is truly the SPECIAL ONE.

    April 4, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Reply
  18. niyi lagos naija

    mourinho is good in bringin out d best in his players but to me he's not d best coach,check it out,wherever he goes to coach must be a club with megabucks dats ready to break bank 4 him,mourinho wil buy upto 7 players in his first season in any club he coaches,in his two and half years at chelsea he bought about 15-17 players,the amount he spent dis season alone on 6 players is enough to assemble d team dat shut him down at bernabeu so im not surprise if and when pedro pinto sing praises his country men i mean mouriho and cristiano, QUE BOM .

    April 4, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Reply
  19. kingsley Azubine

    He is just the SPECIAL ONE.

    April 4, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Reply
  20. Ibukun Allen Obitunwase

    I started watching football on a very serious groung in 2004 just because of this young hardworking man.
    All the joy i derived in watching football comes from him. He will only dissapoint you maybe 2 times in every 15 games. Please give him the credit. He has conquered all europe.

    April 4, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Reply
  21. Erick

    It is easy to be a great coach when you have all the economical resources to have first class players. I will like to know if he will be capable of match the same record in a more modest soccer team.
    It will be nice to know, what MOU told to the players before saturday´s game, because aparently did not use the rigth words...

    April 4, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Reply
  22. Isaac Ekpe H. N

    That Mourinho is good is not contestable,but as a United fan and a NIGERIAN, I do not like him so much. My reasons are obvious. (1) John Mikel Obi is a revealation of 2005 world youth soccer fiester. He was prolific, daring and a goal getter tutored, managed and coached by our own dear greatest (WORLD CLASS) SAMSON SIASIA.

    But as i write, mikel has had more than 170 epl games with Chelsea without even an half goal no thanks to the great mourinho.

    Need to say, this has caused a great disaffection amongs the Nigerian fans. MESSI was no better, but today he is the world s best. Just how great is he when he only succeeded in condemning a great player to a laghing stock. Please consult Chelsea website.

    April 4, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Reply

    I have never been so crazy for football until the Special One came to EPL. There is a thin line between arrogance and confidence and Jose sometimes cross this boundary and this often has been the excuse some of his detractors use as a rod to castigate him as an arrogant coach. Mind you, none of the people who has ever worked closely with Mourinho has accused him of arrogance, rather they have commended his special ability. Jose was not given any chance to survive especially when he moved to EPL, they thought his success with Porto FC was a fluke, so he needed to be outspoken to make himself heard , feared and respected and that tactic actually worked for him becos hardly was there a day in England that Jose did not make the news in England. Jose is great, no doubt about that but would you rather not love an arrogant coach that win laurels than a humble coach that underachieve every season? Jose is truly the Special one, his record may not be beaten in the next half century, congrats to the SPECIAL ONE

    April 4, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Reply
  24. Luke

    @Erick, What exactly does he have to prove? check out the respectable achievements he had with the no name protugese team that caught the attention of the rest of the league, which gave him the chance to prove himself with no world class players at Porto (he did), then having similar successes at top European leagues. Yes, I believe your comment was intended for Guardiola or other coaches who've literally been handed a top notch team, and have no excuse of failing.

    April 4, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Reply
  25. osagie izevbigie

    people can say what every they like about him,but to me he is just the best coach around.That record needed to be broken to set a new. to be the only coach that have won championship with 3 clubs,

    April 5, 2011 at 2:14 am | Reply
  26. j.c.

    He is a good coach, but as usual these football stats are confounded. How long do you think his unbeaten run would be if he managed a club always fighting not to be relegated.

    April 5, 2011 at 9:12 am | Reply
  27. John

    To all of you that are saying he isn't great because he only trains top teams: he won the Champions League with Porto! If that is not a modest team what is? And if it's so easy, why can't the other coaches do the same in the same teams he managed?

    April 5, 2011 at 10:00 am | Reply
  28. Tony Yuen

    Without a doubt an amazing record that speaks for Maurinho's professionalism. The fact that he has never played a minute of professional football is simply mindboggling.

    Tottenham has all the reasons to lure Maurinho. We have the players that suit his brand of football. Harry moving on to the England job. London for his family. Above all, if he turns Spurs into a dynasty, it will be all to his credit. What is Levy waiting for?

    April 5, 2011 at 11:44 am | Reply
  29. Ebiem. O

    It a pity that some people talk about THE SPECIAL ONE in such bad light. This is a man who has proven himself in many ways across diffrent leagues. He took passion in football to a higher level.
    He may have lost the el-classico, but he can not be judged on that alone and no matter what anybody thinks, Jose mourinho is and will always be A LEGEND.

    April 5, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Reply
  30. lucky

    Great man and above all truly special because you deserved the crown to be a SPECIAL ONE. it is a great achievement set by mourinho in the history of football. i believe that till thy kingdom come, no coach on earth will be able to set such records. Bravo! mourinho. You are too much jarey.
    you are welcome back home to Stamford brigde. up Chelsea!

    April 5, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Reply
  31. Hador

    The record for most undefeated home games? Really?

    What's next? The record for most games without a goal allowed between the 20th and 30th minute?

    April 5, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Reply
  32. Jean-Marc

    I am not a Mourinho fan and I find him extremely arrogant, but how about simply admitting that the man is due? Some have said he only accomplished this because of the players he inherited. Who are we trying to fool? How come the coaches who were there before him and those who have come after didn't get the same result? The fact is, NONE of the other top coaches, whether in England, Portugal, Germany, France AND Spain has come anywhere close. Has he won anything this season? Nope. Will he win anything this season? Maybe not, but last time I checked, the article is about his home record. Feel free to put up the name of the coach with a better record.

    April 5, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Reply
  33. as

    What would you expect without Ronaldo & Benzema, Madrid's top scorers? They're lost.

    April 5, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Reply
  34. aloysius okereke

    i my view mourinho's ability to motivate a club every of his first season propeling them to victory is a record deserving our sincere respect. I am often disappointed with the way some of his critics condemn, in total disregard, his laudable records. In every competition the aim is victory. what we often ask is 'who won' and not 'who entertained or played better'. Mourinho is a winner and winners know they someday lose. He had set a record let him try breaking his own record

    April 6, 2011 at 10:09 am | Reply
  35. oriaku

    Its quit unfair that someone will see white and call it black. 150 matches unbeaten tru 9 years of hardwork, from porto to england move to italy before landing in spain oh my God, indeed it is a wonderful record. Why dont we agree that he is the best.

    @Eduard Oriol; i can see your total ignorance about the topic, we are talking about 150 matches unbeaten; you are here saying that he has lost the title to Barca what a shame. One who has moved Real Madrid beyond knock out stage of champions league for the past 9 years yet another feda in his cap. Mo i love you. AM SURE THE LA LIGA IS NOT OVER YET.

    April 6, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  36. jovi

    the surest way to know if a coach is great is to give him an average team then let him have the space and the time to perform, good players without the extravagant spending plus a good coach will always bring the desired results take a good look at Napoli in the serie A.

    April 6, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Reply
  37. golazo

    Did everyone forget what he did with FC Porto?

    April 7, 2011 at 10:24 am | Reply
  38. B.A, Setubal, Portugal

    For those who said that he needs to take an average team to see how he performs, well he already did and performed great!

    He started at my SL Benfica, and the game quality went up, and that team was absolute trash in overall, even for portuguese standards.
    Than he went to Leira, a far worse team than Benfica, where he did a great job, that lead to a dispute over him betweeen the 3 best clubs in Portugal, SL Benfica Sporting CP and FC Porto.

    Porto was not a european favorite at the time, in comparison with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Milan or Manchester, among others, so in comparison tothose teams Porto was average, and yet he won Uefa Cup and next year Champions League.

    After that was Chelsea, Inter and now Real Madrid
    If that is not impressive, than what is?

    April 8, 2011 at 10:17 am | Reply
  39. Ugwunmba (Hamburg)

    He is really A SPECIAL ONE.
    Just recount the achievement of his former Clubs when he was there and now his no longer there.

    Hamburg Germany.

    April 8, 2011 at 11:10 am | Reply
  40. Michael Nwankwor

    Well,as they say everything that goes up must surely come down.Jose is probably the best coach of the moment.He brought to the game his wonderful style of defense and precise attack.

    April 8, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Reply
  41. ASTON

    Nothing special with him.The humiliation experienced this season at Camp nou was not just a normal thing.He is just a mere coach like Rafa Bentez

    April 8, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Reply
  42. Eduard Oriol

    @Oriaku...If I am ignorant I guess you're just delusional...let the devil pick the worst lolol

    April 10, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Reply
  43. Ben

    no matter what anybody think or say,Jose is the BEST in the world now,period.

    April 12, 2011 at 11:45 am | Reply
  44. Ben Muotoh

    Jose is the dream Coach of every football club.I know that Chelsea is regreting now for relieving( not sacking him because no club in their right senses will think of sacking such a talent) him of his duties as a Manager. Jose is the MAN of the moment.

    April 12, 2011 at 11:55 am | Reply
  45. hannsulu

    my salute and respect to this greatest coach ever, unbeatable achievement record of trophy and unbeaten in 150 home run, cant wait to watch another El Classico battle of Spanish supremacy. fyi im supporting Barcelona

    April 13, 2011 at 4:27 am | Reply
  46. K . Katse


    is either you are in his side or full of frustration, hoof-faring the air.

    this what we call Force.

    April 14, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Reply
  47. Ramadubu

    he is now the "coach defending champion " of champions league

    April 14, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Reply
  48. Edson

    Grande artigo Pedro, eu vi pela televisao o documentario sobre o "special one", acredite que por ser benfiquistas e arsenalista nao e muito prazeroso dizer, mais o sr Mourinho e melhor treinador do inicio do seculo, e ainda vai ter de aparecer alguem que nos impressione como ele. Verdadeiramente uma lenda no mundo, nao so do futebol, mas do desporto num todo.

    um abraco

    April 16, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Reply
  49. Max

    Real Madrid tied Barcelona 1-1 today, 9 minutes from the game ending tonite at home stadium Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid,......., where does the author get that Mourinho's streak ended ?

    Author didn't see the final minutes of the match ?

    April 17, 2011 at 12:33 am | Reply
  50. Rain

    1-0 Real Madrid win last night ! Geili!

    April 21, 2011 at 3:54 am | Reply
  51. dada

    he is my mentor. and no matter what i love him)))))) His arrogance ias what keeps him going!!!

    April 23, 2011 at 6:11 am | Reply
  52. Ducky

    I'm not easily impressed. . . but that's imrpseinsg me! 🙂

    April 23, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Reply
  53. nakel

    @eduad oriol(4th of april)
    I am sure you know what the copa del rei is saying now, to Real...soon you'll be saying what others have said...what the writer has said...THIS MAN DOESN'T LOSE AT HOME...come champions league
    I love the man(Hose) heKs a goal getter
    I am a Chelsea/Madrid fan and he has made me proud...made football proud...made my clubs proud

    April 24, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Reply
  54. Chidinma Okonkwo

    Mourinho is definitely good, but Pep Guardiola is better...Pep connects with his players better off, but if Mourinho doesn't like U...Capish....U had better run...Thank U..

    April 27, 2011 at 4:22 am | Reply
  55. Balogun

    Morinho has really made name 4 him self & that is why the name special one follows him. 150 undeaten home games in 4 diffrent league, that is really special.

    April 27, 2011 at 6:50 am | Reply
  56. Agbabiaka segun

    morinho is looking like someone that wants to kill poor morinho sorry for the loss

    April 28, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Reply

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.