José Mourinho, The Special One, is globally renowned for his unique personality and winning mentality. Now, discover an absolutely insane record held by the Portuguese legend.
Football Coaches’ Records – José Mourinho: Longest Unbeaten Home Streak in Domestic Leagues
José Mário dos Santos Mourinho Félix, or simply José Mourinho, was born in Setúbal, Portugal, on January 26, 1963.
Like other great football managers in history, he was once a player. Clearly, his career as a midfielder didn’t come close to the resounding success he achieved as a coach, although Mourinho always emphasizes how his playing experience shaped him into the coach he is today.
As a player, José only played in Portugal, starting his career in 1980 with Rio Ave. Later, he played for Vitória de Guimarães, Sesimbra, and Comércio e Indústria.
His brief playing career lasted only 7 years, retiring as a player at the age of 24, with 94 matches and 13 goals.
From there, he transitioned from the field to the sidelines, where he knew he could be more impactful. His first major role was when he joined Sporting, to work with English coach Bobby Robson.
Mourinho’s ability to speak English was a gateway. He was known as “the Translator.” Soon, Robson recognized young José’s potential and made him his assistant and right-hand man.
Sir Bobby Robson spent two years at Sporting and then moved on to Porto from 1994 to 1996, and later Barcelona in the 1996-97 season. During these cycles, Robson took his “translator,” José Mourinho, with him.
Mourinho stayed with Barcelona, working alongside Van Gaal.
As an assistant at Barcelona, he had contact not only with some of the greatest players in history, like Ronaldo Fenômeno and Rivaldo, but also with those who would become some of the greatest managers in history, Pep Guardiola and Luiz Henrique.
Image: Public Domain
After this period at Barcelona, José Mourinho had gathered enough experience to forge his own path.
The Special One began his coaching career in 2000 at Benfica. He had a brief stint and then moved on to coach União de Leiria.
In 2002, he joined Porto and started gaining international recognition.
Mourinho remained with Porto from 2002 to 2004, collecting titles such as 2 Portuguese Championships and 1 Champions League. At Porto, Mourinho achieved the highest success rate of his career, an enviable 76.98% success rate in 126 games.
In 2004, he moved to Chelsea where he also found great success, winning titles like the Premier League in 2004-2005 and 2006-2007. It was in England where he gained the nickname “The Special One.”
He coined the nickname himself at his press conference upon joining Chelsea. He said:
“We have top players and, sorry if I’m arrogant, we have a top manager. Please don’t call me arrogant because what I’m saying is true. I’m European champion. I’m not one out of the bottle, I think I’m a special one.”
Image: Sky Sports
After a successful period with the Blues, Mourinho headed to Italy. At Inter Milan, he masterfully implemented his work and ideas, winning the Serie A in 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 and the Champions League in 2009-2010.
Image: Getty Images
The following season, he moved to Real Madrid and remained there until 2013, clinching La Liga in the 2012-13 season.
Image: Independent UK
An impressive fact in this phase of the Portuguese star’s career was the unbeaten streak Mourinho achieved in home matches in domestic leagues. He amassed a total of 150 matches unbeaten at home, competing in some of the world’s best leagues (Portuguese, English, Italian, and Spanish).
The record stands at 150 matches (125 wins and 25 draws). José Mourinho, with Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, and Real Madrid, faced 107 different teams that couldn’t overcome him.
A total time of 9 years without losing a single home match.
It’s nearly impossible to quantify the tactical, physical, technical, and disciplinary level instilled by Mourinho. Especially when we consider these were different clubs. In other words, all these factors were implemented in different environments with different players.
This is just one of the facts that makes José Mourinho the Special One!
Do you believe this record could be broken at some point? Comment!
Written by João Felipe Miller and Vitor F L Miller.