10 Things To Know About Jose MourinhoBy The Associated Press , Associated Press
Jun. 3, 2013 1:45 PM ET
LONDON (AP) — Ten things to know about Jose Mourinho, the Portuguese coach who returned to Chelsea on a four-year contract on Monday, six years after his departure from the London club.
1. SPECIAL ONE. Jose Mourinho is known to his family and friends as "Ze," a widely used diminutive for the name Jose. But among Chelsea fans, he is the "Special One." The nickname stems from his first news conference after he joined Chelsea from FC Porto in 2004. "Please don't call me arrogant, but I'm European champion and I think I'm a special one," he told reporters that day. He certainly lived up to that assertion, winning two consecutive Premier League titles, an FA Cup and two League Cups between 2004 and 2007. In his first season with the Blues, he led Chelsea to only the second league championship in their history and first since 1955.
2. SERIAL WINNER. Mourinho is arguably the best coach of his generation. He has won league titles in Portugal, England, Italy and Spain — the four countries in which he has coached. He has excelled in cup competitions, Mourinho won the 2003 UEFA Cup and 2004 Champions League with Porto, the FA Cup and League Cup with Chelsea, and the 2010 Champions League with Inter Milan. In Italy, he led Inter to an historic treble of Serie A, Champions League and Italian Cup before tasting success in Spain.
3. MEDIOCRE PLAYER. Mourinho had an unsuccessful playing career. On a football pitch, he was not particularly gifted and, indeed, not so "special". He played with various clubs from 1980-87 but never managed to break through, calling it quits to focus on his coaching diplomas.
4. DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH? During his first spell at Chelsea, Mourinho quickly became a favorite of the press thanks to his colorful news conferences, during which he spoke in English. That's not surprising coming from a man who made his first break into coaching when he was hired as an interpreter for English coach Bobby Robson at Sporting Lisbon in Portugal.
5. LIKE FATHER AND SONS. Although Jose Mourinho's final season at Real Madrid was marred by conflicts with some of his players — including star goalkeeper Iker Casillas — the Portuguese coach is renowned for the affinity he shares with his players. In a recent interview with the Guardian newspaper, former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba revealed that he struggled to cope with Mourinho's departure from the Blues in 2007. "We call him Daddy," Drogba said. And when Mourinho left Inter for Real Madrid, he and defender Marco Materazzi were pictured in tears as they bid farewell to each other.
6. EUROPEAN CUP HERO. Mourinho is among only four coaches to have won the European Cup with two different teams. The others are Ottmar Hitzfeld, Ernst Happel and Jupp Heynckes.
7. BAD LOSER. Jose Mourinho can be a bad loser, often accusing referees of making the wrong decisions against his teams. After a Champions League match against Barcelona in 2005, Mourinho accused then-coach Frank Rijkaard of visiting the room of referee Anders Frisk at halftime. Mourinho complained to UEFA before Frisk announced his retirement after receiving death threats over the issue.
8. LAUNDRY BASKET. After being banned by UEFA for Chelsea's Champions League quarterfinal match against Bayern Munich in the 2004-05 season, Mourinho reportedly arrived at Stamford Bridge early and hid in the dressing room in order to be able to speak to his players. According to newspapers, he was then wheeled away in a laundry basket so as not to be seen.
9. QUARANTINE. In 2007, Mourinho was arrested and issued with a police caution after allegedly refusing to allow police to quarantine his pet dog, Leya. "The dog is fine in Portugal. That big threat is away — you don't have to worry about crime anymore," he said afterward.
10. EGGS. Ahead of his final match in charge with Chelsea in 2007, Mourinho attacked club owner Roman Abramovich over his incapacity to buy quality players. That resulted in one of Mourinho's best quotes: "Omelettes, eggs. No eggs, no omelettes. And it depends on the quality of the eggs in the supermarket. They are class one, two or three, and some are more expensive than others and some give you better omelettes. When the class one eggs are not available, you have a problem."