“Please don’t say I’m arrogant, because what I say is true. I am European champion, so I’m not…one of…of the bottle. I’m a…I think I’m a special one.”
These are the, often misquoted, words of Jose Mourinho as he addressed his first press conference with Chelsea back in 2004.
He was fresh off winning that year’s Champions League with unfancied Porto, had become the hottest property in football management, and was a marquee appointment for a Chelsea side desperate to turn Roman Abramovich’s millions into English and European domination.
The rest, as they say is history.
From humble beginnings in the sport, Mourinho was considered to lack the pace required to play professionally, he has gone on to become one of the game’s greats.
Mourinho’s grounding in coaching came alongside the great Bobby Robson. He worked with the Englishman at Sporting Lisbon, Porto and most famously Barcelona. Initially employed as translator, Mourinho would often talk tactics and his football brain sharpened rapidly.
His first taste of management came in 2000 when he became boss at Benfica, from here he moved to União de Leiria, before heading to Porto – the club that brought him to the attention of fans across Europe.
In his first full season, Mourinho guided them to league title success, along with European silverware in the form of the UEFA Cup. In 2003/04, he went one better.
Porto retained the Portuguese title, and went on to conquer Europe, winning the Champions League with a resounding 3-0 win over Monaco. This was following wins over Deportivo La Coruna, Lyon, and a famous victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Now, he was the most in-demand manager in Europe, and Stamford Bridge beckoned.
The first of two spells at Chelsea, started in 2004, and it wasn’t long before he was proving his worth. The League Cup was their first piece of silverware under Mourinho. They then clinched their first league title in 50 years – setting a Premier League record for most points, and fewest goals conceded in the process.
They won it again the following season.
A cup double of League and FA Cups would follow in 2006/07 – it was a golden period in Chelsea’s history.
A second stint at the club from 2013-15 would yield another double, this time the League Cup and Premier League in 2014/15.
Mourinho would move to Italy in 2008 and take charge of Inter Milan. It was a familiar story.
The Italian Super Cup and Serie A title were landed in his first season.
2009/10 then produced a spectacular treble of the Serie A title, Copa Italia, and the Champions League – following a 2-0 final win over Bayern Munich.
Following his time in Italy, Mourinho would next find himself in one of the hottest managerial seats in world football, that of Real Madrid.
In two years with Los Blancos, more silverware would follow in the form of the Copa del Rey in 2010/11, the La Liga title in 2011/12, and the 2012 Spanish Super Cup.
After his second stint at Chelsea, we now come to the current day and Mourinho’s time at Manchester United.
So far he has claimed two major trophies in the League and UEFA Cup, further enhancing his credentials as a boss who delivers.
Away from the game Mourinho is a big family man, and a Hublot ambassador.
On his association with Hublot, Mourinho said: “First, I am a family man and then a football manager, but somewhere on the list of my many passions- I am a watch fanatic! I am honored to be part of a brand that upholds such similar values to me.”
Frank Lampard looks like he is about to take his first steps into management with Derby County.
Here, we look at some of the things on the 39-year-old’s potential to do list should he take over at Pride Park.
Redress the balance in the squad
Gary Rowett left an ageing group of players when he departed for Stoke last week. Seven of the team that started the second leg of the play-off semi-final defeat at Fulham were aged 30 or older.
The Derby squad also appears to be awash with midfielders who are very much alike. The Rams are missing the kind of player who can turn a game or unlock a defence on a regular basis.
Cut Derby’s cloth accordingly
Chairman Mel Morris said towards the end of the season that there would be no significant investment this summer should Derby fail to win promotion as the club needs to get costs under control.
That could see players sold and Lampard working with a smaller squad, with Morris keen to see Derby develop more of its own young players.
Decisions on loan players
Craig Bryson (Cardiff), Jacob Butterfield (Sheffield Wednesday) and Nick Blackman (Maccabi Tel Aviv) spent all of last season away from Pride Park on loan at other clubs and return with 12 months remaining on their contracts.
Chris Martin was allowed to spend the second half of the campaign on loan at Reading and his contract runs until 2020. It seems the quartet were not in Rowett’s plans for the future but Lampard will have to look at them and decide if he can use them next season.
Settle on a formation
Lampard will have his own ideas about the way he wants his team to play. Rowett set his team up in 4-3-3, 4-2-3-1 and even 3-4-2-1 last season so Lampard knows Derby can be flexible and having several different ways of playing will be crucial over what is a long 46-game slog in the Championship.
Less than a month after leaving Fujairah following their failure to secure automatic promotion to the Arabian Gulf League, the 1986 World Cup winner was unveiled as the Belarusian outfit’s new chairman last week in Abu Dhabi.
The 57-year-old will officially begin his new role in July after the World Cup in Russia and will be tasked with handling first-team matters, plus the club’s academy.
The World Cup 1986 winner’s appointment has raised Brest’s profile in the sporting world for now and Ivanauskas admits bringing in a man like Maradona is a big boost for the club.
“Of course. Everybody has opinions about Diego,” said the 51-year-old. “For us, it’s just win-win situation. We can’t lose. We need to take from Diego his experience.
“Not just as a player – as a player he’s a legend. But also how he works with the Argentina national team, how he worked here in the Emirates and in other countries. For us it’s the experience. It’s a good deal and everybody is very, very lucky.”
Ivanauskas confirmed the club first made contact with Maradona late last year but only on the possibility of arranging friendlies with Fujairah. Once he was no longer their coach, Brest made their move but the Lithuanian says there are no immediate plans for the Al Wasl and Argentina coach to take the reins.
“We saw the chance to take Diego, which you have maybe one time in your life, we got him and for us was a very, very big opportunity,” he said. “Also for the players and for everybody in Belarus. Diego is the name, Diego is chairman, Diego is boss.
“And we think the experience he can give them, as a player, a coach, a manager and also an ambassador of the world, is very important for us.”
Brest are currently eighth in the top-flight, but lifted Belarusian Cup earlier this month. The icon has promised a number of Emirati players will follow him to Belarus as they bid to qualify for the Europe League’s main stage.
And Ivanauskas insists the club will support Maradona is whatever reinforcements are required.
He said: “We welcome that. We were talking with Diego some days ago and he knows exactly our situation with the team and he knows exactly want we need.
“Diego’s thinking about [signing Emiratis], but for now he’s concentrating on our team and also his commitments for the World Cup. We have a little bit of time before the Europa League qualifier, so if Diego says ‘this player can help us’, they’re welcome.”