Jose Mourinho rose to prominence in the managerial world in 2004, when he knocked Manchester United out on his way to winning the Champions League with Porto. It was the Portuguese club’s first-ever European Cup win and it earned Mourinho a high-profile move to Chelsea a year later.
It was at Stamford Bridge that Mourinho became known as The Special One, and he lived up to that moniker by winning the Premier League in his first season with the big-spending Blues – their first league title in 50 years.
A European adventure
He delivered the trophy once more to the club the following season, before eventually departing in 2007 to Inter Milan, where he was tasked with earning a league title in a third European country, and in another ultra-competitive competition.
Mourinho did just that in 2009 and, he followed that up with a European treble-winning season the following year, which is arguably his crowning achievement. But once again the Special One didn’t hang around long and Real Madrid would be his next destination.
And it was a case of different country, same outcome as Mourinho landed the La Liga championship ahead of Barcelona in 2012. But this there would be no back-to-back triumph and his exit from the Spanish capital was soon sealed.
Having won trophies in Portugal, England, Italy and Spain, many predicted that Mourinho’s next move could take him into Germany or France, but there were no pastures new and instead the prolific manager returned to Chelsea.
Back in the Premier League
Mourinho delivered another Premier League title to the Blues, though his second spell was less comfortable than his first. And while his departure the first time around had been on reasonable terms, there was a little more animosity to his exit this time around.
With his family settled in the UK, Mourinho would remain in the Premier League and take the reins at Manchester United. To many, this was a poisoned chalice following the failure of David Moyes and Louis van Gaal to deliver success following the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson. And Mourinho was unable to address the decline at Old Trafford.
The Portuguese firebrand’s exit was sealed within two seasons and this time there was no club waiting to employ him. It wasn’t until Tottenham Hotspur parted company with Mauricio Pochettino that a new opportunity at a leading club came Mourinho’s way.
Spur of the moment
The move to Spurs brings us to the present day and Mourinho has by no means had everything his own way so far. The Lillywhites are off the title pace and have been unable to replicate last year’s run to the Champions League Final. They weren’t even among the favourites to finish in the top four in the Premier League betting prior to the suspension of the league.
And with influential strikers Harry Kane and Son Heung Min suffering long-term injuries, Mourinho’s luck doesn’t appear likely to turn any time soon, although the runaway success of leaders Liverpool in 2019/20 may actually buy him some time in the job.
7 – As a manager while in charge of English clubs, Jose Mourinho has now lost on each of the seven occasions his sides have taken part in a penalty shootout (5x Chelsea, 1x Man Utd, 1x Spurs). Hell. pic.twitter.com/6nr2oYDRz5
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 4, 2020
But having waited decades and decades for a league title, and having come so close under Pochettino, it’s unlikely the patience of the Spurs board will endure long into next season. And from winning titles in four different countries, Mourinho could soon find himself on the verge of losing his seat at the top table of football management.