Thursday, 21 April 2011

Football : Real Madrid, Spanish Cup, 2011,Winners...

Real Madrid have finally won their first trophy since 2008. Unsurprisingly, it has coincided with the arrival of one man.

The Special One. Jose Mourinho. Everything he touches seems to turn to gold.

Wednesday evening's Copa del Rey victory over Barcelona means Mourinho has now won a major trophy in every country he has managed in.

Yet like most top class managers, Mourinho was not always used to being surrounded by medals and prizes. It seems the key to succeeding in management is to have a firm education at a lesser club, before moving on the bigger things.

Mourinho's coaching career started off at Benfica, and while he did enjoy a reasonably successful spell there, his time was cut short with the installation of new club president Manuel Vilarinho, who wanted to bring back ex-player Toni to be his new coach.

Mourinho used an impressive 3-0 win over Sporting as an opportunity to request for a contract extension, and when Vilarinho refused, the coach had made his mind up. Mourinho tendered his resignation immediately.

It did not take long for a man of Mourinho's talents to find employment elsewhere. Uniao de Leiria appointed him in April 2001, and the following season he guided the club to their highest-ever league finish of fifth place.


A year later, Porto came knocking with an offer Mourinho could not refuse.

Having identified a core of existing players that would form the backbone of his team, including the likes of Vitor Baia, Ricardo Carvalho, Costinha and Deco, Mourinho then went about addressing areas he felt could do with improvement.

Nuno Valente and Derlei were both poached from old club Leiria, Paulo Ferreira was brought in from Vitoria de Setubal, and Edgar Jankauskas and Maniche both arrived on a free from Benfica.

It did not take long for his team to make an impact.

Having already claimed the Portuguese league and cup double, Mourinho completed a treble in his first season at the Estadio Dragao, claiming the UEFA Cup after a thrilling 3-2 extra time win over Celtic.

If you thought that was impressive for a Portuguese club, think again.

The following year, Mourinho won a second successive Portuguese Liga title.

However, it was in the UEFA Champions League that Mourinho truly exhibited his managerial powers in. In a tournament littered with Europe's biggest club sides, the Special One brought his unheralded team all the way to the final, knocking out Manchester United, Lyon and Deportivo La Coruna in the process.

On May 26, 2004, Mourinho claimed European football's biggest prize when Porto comprehensively beat Monaco 3-0, with goals coming from Carlos Alberto, Deco, and Dmitri Alenichev.


Having proven his credentials at the highest level, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich knew he had found the man that could bring him his ultimate goal: the Champions League.

Abramovich lured him to Stamford Bridge and threw at him an unlimited war chest with a single condition: bring success to Chelsea at all costs.

Mourinho raided Porto for Carvalho and Ferreira at a combined £32million, Didier Drogba and Michael Essien arrived from France for approximately £25million each.

The result, as it always is with Mourinho: success.

Within nine months, Mourinho had delivered the League Cup with a 3-2 extra time victory over Liverpool. Three months later, Chelsea welcomed its first Premier League title since 1955.

The following two season saw continued success, as he delivered a second Premier League title in 2006, as well as the FA Cup and League Cup in 2007.

However, the 2006/07 season also saw growing unrest at Stamford Bridge, with rumours abound that Mourinho and Abramovich's relationship was starting to get strained.

The following season, after a less-than-desirable run of results, Mourinho left Chelsea by mutual consent.

Inter Milan
Mourinho was appointed Roberto Mancini's successor at Inter in June 2008, but contrary to his previous arrivals at new clubs, the Special One stated that he would not be bringing in many new faces.
Apart from changing much of the backroom staff, the only arrivals on the field came in the form of Brazilian winger Mancini, Ghanian midfielder Sulley Ali Muntari, and Portuguese winger Ricardo Quaresma.
Still, it seemed as though it was his ability and not the players that was constantly getting the job done.
Using the resources he had at his disposal, Mourinho guided Inter to the Serie A title and the Coppa Italia in his first season in Milan.
And just like his spell at Porto, his debut year was merely to serve as an appetiser for the next.
Inter achieved the footballing equivalent of world domination in the 2009/10 season, retaining both their Serie A and Coppa Italia crowns, before adding the Champions League to their trophy cabinet for good measure.
In a run which saw them eliminate the likes of Chelsea, CSKA Moscow and Barcelona, Inter met Bayern Munich in the final, where two goals from Diego Milito secured a their first Champions League title since their back-to-back successes in 1964 and 1965.
Real Madrid

Real had seen enough. Watching bitter rivals Barcelona completely dominate Spanish football for the last two season was too much for president Florentino Perez to take.

And as is the case with Real most of the time, when they want their man, they get their man.

Mourinho's appointment as head coach of Real is the 11th the club have made in the last seven years, and he immediately set about improving the team by bringing in 2010 World Cup stars Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira and Angel Di Maria, as well as his old mate Carvalho.

It is still early to run the rule on Mourinho's time at Real, he's only just about to complete one season.

Still, the trophies speak for themselves. And as he always does, Mourinho has once again brought his golden touch to the Santiago Bernabeu.

Mourinho took charge of his first Real game on August 29. The Copa del Rey final was on April 20.

Eight months. That's all the time it took the Special One to bring glory back to Real Madrid.

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