In 2010, Inter Milan were playing some fantastic counter attacking football, Samuel Eto and his team mates were on the verge of being the first team in Italy to win the treble. On their way to their champion’s league silverware, they had sensationally beaten Barcelona and edged out Bayern in the final with very little effort. Strangely enough, it was not these performances that had stolen the media limelight. But the future of a certain self anointed ‘special one’ kept occupying front pages of news papers-from the renowned Marca in Spain to the not too celebrated P&P in Ghana. There were speculations of Mourinho’s estranged relationship with the Italian media, certain quarters claimed the man just didn’t like the Italian way of life. Whatever the case maybe, it looked as though the transit tenant was ready to embark on yet another football pilgrimage. Haven just been relieved of his duty at Chelsea, a return to the club although anticipated wasn’t likely. When Mourinho decides to be jobless, top coaches all over the world start preparing their handing over notes (perhaps apart from shareholders like Fergie and Wenger, lol).
As expected, ‘the special one’ was continuously linked with all the top teams in Europe but one that seemed increasingly likely was Real Madrid. ‘Los Merengues’ had just finished the season with 96 points (a club record then) but could only place second to their bitter rivals Barcelona. Manuel Pelligrini, a soft spoken Chilean gentleman was hoping that his modest achievement was going to be enough to give him another shot at the job at the Bernabue. But when Jose, ‘the special one’ wants your job, 96 points is obviously just not good enough. As a devoted catholic, Pelligrini am certain had invoked the spiritual interference of the holy Virgin Mary, unfortunately when the ‘God’ of football wants your job, the heavens can only look on.
And so it came to pass, poor Pelligrini had to unwillingly accept his ‘end of service benefit’ and quietly sneak out of the Bernabue aboard his ‘yellow submarine’. Pelligrini to be fair, was treated poorly, but am sure Fabio Cappelo was saying to himself…move on "amico” I even won the league. Big spending Florentino Perez had finally gotten his man. Brash, arrogant, cocky and with such an impressive record that success almost seems an entitlement. It is a description that encapsulates the personality that is Jose Mourinho, and the institution that is Real Madrid. “Jose Mourinho and Real Madrid is a match made in heaven” screamed Marca in Spain.
Three seasons down the line, ‘Madridistas’ all over the world are ruing this apparent match made in heaven. Madrid fans accept that Mourinho took them to 3 successive champions league semi-finals but he also poked his fingers into Tito Villanova’s eye, and arrogantly retorted “ who is Pito Villanova?” when he was questioned in a press conference. Mourinho had created a ‘we against them’ feeling in his dressing room, and all players were expected to fall in line. Failure to do so was conceived as a form of betrayal and Iker Casillas learnt about it the hard way. In his desperation to win at all cost, Perez had bestowed enormous powers to his prized asset and anyone who dared challenge ‘the special’ one was shipped out. Valdano was the first to leave and then followed club legend Zidane. Mourinho’s trouble with his players is public record. From club captain Casillas, his assistant Ramos, De-maria, Ozil and much recently Pepe. Not even the world’s most expensive player Ronaldo could escape Mourinho’s brunt. After their first Champions league semi-final match against Barcelona in 2011, Ronaldo remarked… "I do not like to play in this way, but I have to adapt". The next match against Zaragoza in the league, Cristiano was out of the squad.
Obviously, going to the semi-finals three times is not historic for Real Madrid, but having a coach exhibit such violent and unprofessional tendencies is unprecedented. I believe Mourinho is technically savvy but I also believe he has an issue, and his ego for that matter is his bane. Admittedly, he looks good in Real Madrid’s Armani suit, and off course commands the charisma that is required of a Real Madrid manager, but he also exhibits the brute and dictatorial attributes required to coach a German team in Nazi Germany. The latter perhaps will culminate in the demise of a legend of our time. Mourinho came to Madrid with one sole aim...to prove to the world and Barcelona that he is the best coach in the world. Now he leaves Madrid with the aim to convince the world that he is not an ill-tempered bellicose who has very little regard for ethics.
Now it is confirmed that he is Chelsea bound. If anyone knows Mourinho well, it’s certainly Ramon Abramovich. This is the second time he is employing Mourinho and I want to think he knows exactly what he is bargaining for. In Mourinho you have a top notch tactician, but you also have a man who is ready to sacrifice anything ethical to win. He has been labeled a cheat by his critics for deliberately allowing his players to pick-up bookings in games so they serve their suspension before a more important game comes up – which the club were fined for.
His side’s discipline and violent tactics to win games have also been heavily scrutinized. Mourinho’s attitude towards his side’s bad behavior is also a talking point. He doesn’t seem bothered if his side has to resort to cheating ways in which to get the win. Almost as if he encourages it.
As for Real Madrid, they are left to make the long and lonely journey to recovery. As a Madrid fan, I just pray we do not get caught up in the cold night and catch the ' mou flu'. Chelsea and Inter are yet to find a vaccine.