WHY UCL IS THE HOLY GRAIL FOR JOSE MOURINHO

Love him or hate him, Jose Mourinho is the most successful manager in the modern era of football winning trophies after trophies with the team he had managed such as FC Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and United. Not only that, he had successfully transformed these teams from an underachieving team to a title contender. With FC Porto , he made them emulate Liverpool where they had won the UEFA Cup followed by the UCL in 2003 and 2004, transformed Chelsea from a sleeping giant to great team and become the only manager after SAF to won a back to back Premier League title in 2005 and 2006, making Inter Milan the first Italian team to complete the treble when they had won the UCL in 2010, broke Real Madrid jinx of 6th consecutive second round knockout stages exit starting from 2005 and made them the La Liga champions against arguably one of the greatest club football team Guardiola’s Barcelona , again making Chelsea as champion in the second stint and become the first United manager to won a trophy in the first season .

The ecstatic celebration by Jose Mourinho when FC Porto had knocked out United in the second round

Unlike Guardiola who had made his name with his brilliant tiki-taka style with  Barcelona that had made them as one of the greatest club football team ever, Jose Mourinho had gained the world attention in UCL starting in 2004 second round meeting against Manchester United. He never ever showed any fear of competing with Sir Alex Ferguson one of the great masters of the mind games and make his own stand. Naming the Manchester United squad in the press conference  upon on their second leg meeting in Old Trafford and now the famous celebration after Porto had knocked out United he had gained the momentum form it and raised a few eyebrows when he made FC Porto the UCL winner in 2004 by outplaying a good FC Monaco team in one of the most one-sided final ever. Upon this, he had been appointed as the manager of Chelsea and started the infamous “I’m the Special One” during his appointment press conference. For all the trophy that he had won in the league, the UCL is still his holy grail and they are many reasons for it.

He broke the jinx and made the impossible possible.

Once UEFA had decided to increase the participant of UCL team to 32, they are no winner from the outside of the big four team like Spain, England, Italy, and Germany but Jose Mourinho had made FC Porto the champion and that makes the one and only time that a team from Portugal had won the competition and also the last time that a team from Portugal had reached the UCL final. With Chelsea on his first season, he made Chelsea a strong team from the back to front and they had successfully eliminated Barcelona and Bayern Munich en route to the semi-final before being knocked out by Liverpool and this also makes the first time Chelsea had progressed to the semi-final of the UCL. With Italy, he had made them become the first Italian team to win the treble in 2010 and making it the last time that an Italian team had won the competition. With Real Madrid, before he arrives, Real Madrid had been knocked out from the second round for 6 consecutive seasons and under him, Real Madrid had been a regular contender in the semi-final again.

This competition his tactical brilliance can be seen.

When Internazionale had successfully knocked out Barcelona in the semi-final en route to complete the treble in 2010, he had been criticized  for playing an anti-football but what many don’t realize is that in the first leg, his team had played a near-perfect game against Barcelona and punished them in a quick counter-attack with some clinical finish and absolutely shutting down Messi. And the second leg his unconventional method can be seen as he had deployed a left back as a left midfielder in order to stop Messi on the left-hand side. With these become the first manager to successfully knocked out Guardiola Barcelona when they looked invincible, Mourinho again had shown his tactical brilliance by playing a patient game and punish Bayern Munch in the counter-attack and long ball tactic to win the competition. In the European game where the stakes his higher and the challenge is bigger, he always proved that he is a tactically astute manager that can make the team overcome any challenge from a better team.

Never been knocked out in the quarter-final.

Jose Mourinho had been knocked from the second round twice once in 2006 against Barcelona and second against United in 2009 when he is in charge for Internazionale. He also had been knocked out in the semi-final with Chelsea twice in 2005 and 2007 and 3 consecutive times with Real Madrid from 2011 until 2013 but he never been knocked from the quarter-final stages. Each time when his team in quarterfinal he will either reach the final or being knocked out in the semi-final.

Never lost a European cup final.

Adding to the perfect Jose Mourinho quarter-final record, Mourinho had another perfect record whereby he had been in the final of the European competition 4 time including the UEL competition and won all 4 of them. He had never been beaten in the final of UCL and UEL competition. He had won the UEL with FC Porto in 2003 and Manchester United in 2017 and won the UCL with FC Porto in 2004 and with Internazionale in 2010.

Brilliant when his team is not expected to win the competition.

FC Porto and Inter Milan had one thing in common where nobody had given them hope of winning the competition in the early stage as FC Porto were expected to be knocked out in the second stages against  Manchester United and Internazionale is expected to be humbled by Barcelona but on both occasion his tactical and man management style had made the team supremely confident to overcome the odd and in the end winning the competition.

Jose Mourinho had gained the attention of the footballing world when he had knocked out Manchester United in 2004 and from then he is going strength to strength apart from the forgettable Chelsea performance in 2016 where he had been fired unceremoniously after led them to win the Premier League in 2015. But apart from this blemish moment in his managerial career, his team had always been brilliant, superb, supremely confident and always able to overcome the odds in UCL tournament. He is undeniably making the UCL competition as the platform and to prove to the world that he is one the best manager in the modern era. The UCL is truly his holy grail for now and in the future too.

 

 

 

 

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