José Mourinho is renowned for his extreme arrogance and unwavering confidence, which has enabled him to become one of the most successful football managers in the world. He is a master of harnessing arrogance and using it to his advantage. Arrogance can be a powerful tool in the pursuit of success. It can provide inner strength, inspire followers and give one an edge over the competition. When used properly, it can lead to great accomplishments.
José Mourinho has achieved great success throughout his career. He rose to prominence with FC Porto’s victories in the 2003 UEFA Cup and 2004 Champions League and has continued to be one of the most influential figures in world football ever since. He managed big clubs like Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Manchester United, and Tottenham and is now plying his trade with Rome in Italy. But why is the Portuguese manager called ‘The Special One’? Let’s have a look at it.
Why is Jose Mourinho called ‘The Special One’?
José Mourinho’s iconic nickname, “The Special One,” dates back to his arrival at Chelsea in 2004. During his first press conference, he declared that he considered himself a “special one,” and the name has stayed with him ever since. “Please don’t call me arrogant, but I’m a European champion and I think I’m a special one,” the great Jose Mourinho said. Before his time at Chelsea, José Mourinho was not as widely known in the football community despite his impressive accomplishments with FC Porto, including a Champions League title in 2003-04. After this success, his star began to rise, and he quickly became one of the most sought-after managers in the world.
Creator: Luciano Rossi | Credit: AS Roma via Getty Images Copyright: 2023 Luciano Rossi
José Mourinho has earned his famous moniker, “The Special One,” through a combination of his tactical acumen and excellent managerial skills. He boldly proclaimed himself as such in his first press conference with Chelsea, creating a buzz in the media ahead of his first season in the Premier League. José Mourinho’s nickname, “The Special One,” has become even more valid during his time as manager of Chelsea, where he became the most successful coach in the club’s history. His tactical genius and managerial skills helped him reach new heights and truly live up to his arrogance.
José Mourinho achieved remarkable success in his first two seasons as manager of Chelsea, winning back-to-back Premier League titles and setting the record for most points in a Premier League-winning campaign (95). He displayed incredible talent as a tactician and manager, cementing his status as “The Special One.” Since his first spell at Chelsea, José Mourinho’s success in the Premier League has been mixed. His second stint with the Blues was not able to match the heights of his initial tenure, and his spell at Manchester United encountered several difficulties. Jose Mourinho was also sacked from his job at Tottenham after he failed to achieve the club’s set expectations.
Is Jose Mourinho the special one?
Very often there comes a character who changes the whole meaning of the game. Jose Mourinho can be considered one such game-changer. From giving Chelsea a name in world football to getting the better of Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona, Jose Mourinho did it all. He even went on to win a treble with Inter Milan. Adding to that, Manchester United won their last trophy under the management of Jose Mourinho, which was back in 2017. Jose Mourinho came to Roma and helped them secure UEFA Europa Conference League in 2022.
José Mourinho has solidified his status as one of the greatest football managers of all time. He is just the second manager to win five major European titles, joining Giovanni Trapattoni in achieving this feat. Among his honors are two UEFA Champions League titles, two UEFA Cup/Europa League titles, and the recently won UEFA Europa Conference League.
Creator: Alex Morton | Credit: Getty Images Copyright: 2017 Getty Images
Jose Mourinho’s takeover of La Liga from Pep Guardiola is one of the solid reasons why he should be considered the “Special One”. José Mourinho had a successful three-year tenure at Real Madrid, winning the Copa del Rey in 2011, La Liga in 2012, and Supercopa de España in 2012. During that time, he also set a new club record of 32 consecutive match unbeaten streak in the 2011 – 2012 season.
In 2019, Jose Mourinho voiced his displeasure about the fact that people questioned his coaching abilities in England, and thus why he adopted the title of ‘The Special One’.
“When I gave my first press conference I was asked if I was ready for the Premier League,” Mourinho told Sky Sports. “I thought: ‘What? I just won the Champions League and you are thinking that I am nobody?’ “So, I went a little bit aggressive by saying I am not one from the bottle, I am a special one. But then, bang, it stayed. No problem.”
In October 2015, Jurgen Klopp was asked if he would follow in Jose Mourinho’s footsteps and call himself the ‘Special One’ when he joined Liverpool as manager, reigniting the attention around this title. In contrast, Jurgen Klopp referred to himself as the “normal one” instead of the “Special One”.
Jose Mourinho has taken back his claim
However, in 2022 Jose Mourinho admitted that his reputably renowned label of “The Special One” no longer applies, referring to it as an “old story”. When questioned concerning his potential to forge another noteworthy performance before the Europa Conference League final against Feyenoord at the Arena Kombetare in Tirana, Jose Mourinho responded that the “Special One” narrative was now a thing of the past.
‘When you have more maturity and stability, you think much more about the people and less about yourself. ‘I can just do what every coach can do and try to help the team. ‘I don’t believe in magical moments. This is not the moment of one individual, it is the team, the players, and the staff. ‘Does each new achievement mean more than the previous one? It does. But there is nothing special to be done, just be us.’
In his 23rd season as a manager, Jose Mourinho is still unsure of when he will be retiring due to a piece of advice given to him by Manchester United’s legendary manager, Sir Alex Ferguson. In March 2013, during his time as Real Madrid boss, Mourinho was summoned to Ferguson’s office at Old Trafford before a Champions League encounter and forewarned of what was to come.
‘It was Manchester United vs Real Madrid. Before the game, Sir Alex Ferguson invited me to his office,’ he said.
‘I asked him, ”What is it like, boss? Does it change? Does it change over the years?”. He said, ”Forget about it. Nothing changes. It is the same up until the very last day”.
‘That is why I keep saying I cannot believe I am 59 years old. I cannot believe I have a 22-year career as a head coach. I cannot tell you when I am going to stop because I cannot visualize it. ‘The passion doesn’t change.’
List of trophies won by Jose Mourinho in every club he managed
Trophies won with Porto
- Primeira Liga 2002-03
- Taca de Portugal 2002-03
- Supertaca Candido de Oliveira 2003
- UEFA Cup 2002-03
- Primeira Liga 2003-04
- UEFA Champions League 2003-04
Trophies won with Chelsea
- Carabao Cup 2004-05
- Premier League 2004-05
- FA Community Shield 2005
- Premier League 2005-06
- Carabao Cup 2006-07
- FA Cup 2006-07
- Carabao Cup 2014-15
- Premier League 2014-15
Trophies won with Inter Milan
- Supercoppa Italiana 2008
- Serie A 2008-09
- Coppa Italia 2009-10
- Serie A 2009-10
- UEFA Champions League 2009-10
Trophies won with Real Madrid
- Copa del Rey 2010-11
- La Liga 2011-12
- Supercopa de Espana 2012
Trophies won with Manchester United
- FA Community Shield 2016
- Carabao Cup 2016-17
- UEFA Europa League 2016-17
Trophies won with AS Roma
- UEFA Conference League 2022