Often football’s greatest talents are forged in some of Europe’s less popular leagues.
He might be infamous for his fiery temper and run-ins with players and opposing managers alike, but Jose Mourinho is one of the most successful managers in football, boasting a knack for tactical brilliance and a win-at-all-costs mentality.
Mourinho’s most recent stint as manager of Manchester United was an audacious attempt to steer the club back to its former glory.
Although criticised for his time at United, Mourinho was able to achieve a feat he himself considers to be the greatest of his illustrious career.
After an underwhelming but unsurprising sixth-place finish to his first year in charge, United secured both the Europa League and the English League Cup. Not the worst season by any means.
The Portuguese was then able to elevate Manchester United to a second-place finish the following year despite being denied the money required to tighten up his defence and perfect his tactical model.
Mourinho works off of a solid, rigid defensive model that allows creativity and freedom in attack. This is sometimes referred to as counter-attacking football, or what he’s better known for, parking the bus.
However, the Special One is famed for his rigorous scouting reports and having his men trained to adopt the relevant formation and strategy for any given game or situation.
The Special One nickname was bestowed upon Mourinho for a reason: he’s a winner.
Beginning his career at Portuguese giants Benfica, Mourinho proceeded to win the UEFA Champions League with Porto in 2004, a feat that pundits believe may never be achieved again by a team outside of Europe’s top eight.
After arriving at Chelsea the next year, the south Londoners won England’s top flight for the first time in over 50 years. They then won the domestic treble the season that followed.
He then moved to Inter Milan where he won back-to-back Serie A titles and led the team to his second UCL trophy in his second year in charge.
Mourinho moved to Real Madrid in 2010 where he won both La Liga and the Copa Del Rey once.
He would later return to Chelsea to recapture the EPL title before his tumultuous stint at Old Trafford.
Falling-outs with the United board over the acquisition of a world-class centre back eventually led to Mourinho parting ways with the club and fans left wondering what could have been.
Where will Mourinho will end up next?
With Unai Emery under the pump, many are saying it’s time for Mourinho’s fourth term in England.
Or could it be Real Madrid with unrest in Spain’s capital?
Wherever he ends up, he will need a club with a winning nature that can allow him the time and money to get things running the Mourinho way.
Love him or hate him, you’d have him.