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Rediff.com  » Sports » Love him or loathe him, Mourinho is a winner

Love him or loathe him, Mourinho is a winner

Last updated on: May 31, 2010 20:20 IST

Love him or loathe him, Mourinho is a winner

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Jose Mourinho speaks his mind, makes enemies and does not stick around at clubs very long, but he wins trophies galore and cultivates a fierce loyalty among his players.

Real Madrid should be ready for the proverbial roller coaster ride after he was unveiled as their coach on Monday, charged with wrestling the La Liga title from Barcelona and winning a 10th European Cup for a recently success-starved club.

The ultra confident 47-year-old knows what he wants and invariably gets it, a trait which is sure to excite fans of arguably the world's most famous club.

"If you are a coach or a great player to not play in a club like Madrid, leaves a hole in your career," Mourinho said.


Image: Jose Mourinho
Photographs: Reuters
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The Portuguese can be a strict disciplinarian

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Tactically, he has outwitted rival managers time and again with formation tweaks and is not afraid to make a triple substitution at halftime if necessary.

Players warm to his unquestionable charisma, even if the Portuguese can be a strict disciplinarian.

He left Inter Milan striker Mario Balotelli out of his squads several times last term after rows but the pair were still embracing at the end.

Despite never having been a player at the highest level, Mourinho has gone from translator at Barcelona to the self-proclaimed best coach in the world in only 10 years thanks to an unrelenting determination and attention to detail.


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Mourinho's enigmatic personality means no one is really sure

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Winning the 2004 Champions League with outsiders Porto was a great triumph but giving Chelsea their first English title in 50 years and leading Inter Milan to an unprecedented Italian treble and their first European Cup since 1965 were also stunning.

Mourinho is one of only three coaches to have won the Champions League with two different clubs and even the most cautious gambler would not bet against him becoming the first to claim the trophy with three.

Whether that will be with Real depends on how long he stays.

They are well known for having a revolving door of managers, especially under demanding president Florentino Perez, while Mourinho's enigmatic personality means no one is ever really sure what he is thinking.

He quit Porto on the pitch after their European Cup triumph and his outspokenness led to his departure from Chelsea where his relationship with owner Roman Abramovich fell apart.


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Mourinho's exit from Inter upset Milan fans

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His rapport with Inter president Massimo Moratti was better, but only because the 65-year-old knew he had hired a livewire and was ready for the ups and downs amidst the almost guaranteed on-field success Mourinho offers.

But Mourinho's exit from Inter after their wonderful season, where he was talking about going to Real even before their Champions League final win over Bayern Munich, has upset many Nerazzurri fans.


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He was spectacular: Moratti

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Their treble celebrations were overshadowed by the media focus on the coach, even on the night of the final, and fans did not enjoy the victory as much as they would have done had Mourinho swallowed his dislike of Italian soccer for a few days.

"Certainly his timing was not great. Both for him and the fans, he could have opted for a course of action a little different," Moratti said, albeit admitting that Inter's exhilarating two years with Mourinho were still well worth it.

"He was spectacular."


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