Jose Mourinho; a life of colourful controversies

Jose Mourinho


The Special One. Have you ever wondered how Jose Mourinho, the Current Tottenham Hotspur Manager, got that appellation from?

Well, nobody knows for sure but it’s on record that during his first stint as Chelsea FC’s manager he said that “I have top players and I’m sorry, we have a top manager. Please do not call me arrogant because of what is true. I’m European Champion, I’m not one out of the bottle. I think I’m a Special One.

There it is, one out of the many times he referred to himself as the Special One.

It’s not quite clear whether the sobriquet would have a sticker or not had Jose not embraced a culture of being the most controversial in the room.

One thing is clear though he has given sports analysts and soccer enthusiasts enough controversial material to perpetuate the view that he’s indeed, a Special One.

Early Controversies

In February of 2005, after Chelsea’s 2-1 defeat against Barcelona in the first leg of the round of 16 clashes, Jose Mourinho attracted media attention and the displeasure of notable referees, coaches, and other lovers of the game, when he wrongly accused Barcelona Coach Frank Rijkaard of visiting referee Anders Frisk at halftime.

This was a tension-filled chapter in Mourinho’s coaching career and he got a fine of €8,900 and a two-match touchline ban.

The head of UEFA’s Referee Committee at the time, Volker Roth, in a remark, called Jose Mourinho an ‘enemy of football’. That should give you a sense of the animus they all felt towards him (Mourinho) for such a controversial incident.

That same year, precisely in March, Jose Mourinho, still coaching Chelsea FC, accused the Manchester United Team of cheating during a Carling Cup Semi-Final clash.

For that accusation, the Special One earned himself a €5000 fine.

But that’s not the end of it, he also did something as controversial in June of 2005. This time around, he attracted public opprobrium and a hefty fine for meeting ex-Arsenal Player, Ashley Cole, without the Permission of Arsenal FC’s management.

The initial penalty levied against Jose Mourinho for the above transgression was €200,000 but the penalty was later reduced to €75,000 on appeal.

From January to March in the year 2010, while he was coaching Inter Milan, the Special One got himself fined on several occasions by the Italian Football Federation for many of his infractions. One could say the Italians weren’t sold on his ‘special status’.

Then in December 2010, The Special One got himself banned for one Champions League Match. What was his offense this time around? Well, he was found guilty of improper conduct and this conduct followed the dismissal of Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos, both playing for Real Madrid, during a Champions League game against Ajax.

The appears to get a rush from being in the eye of the controversial storm, every now and then.

In August of 2011, Mourinho poked Barcelona’s then assistant manager, Tito Villanova in the eye during touchline exchanges, after a contentious Spanish Super Cup match that ended in a draw. He was coaching Real Madrid at the time.

Again, in January 2013, after dropping Iker Casillas, the Club’s Captain before the mid-winter break, the Spanish Press aired reports claiming Mourinho had disagreements with some of his senior players.

All through that season, the media was awash with tales of internal conflict among the Real Madrid squad.

That same year, in May, precisely, The Special One had to be sent from the bench for angrily protesting a referee decision during a contentious Copa del Rey final with Atlético Madrid.

Considering all of the fallouts he has had in the past one can simply breakdown the effect of his controversial side into reputation incidents and morale incidents.

His reputation incidents put him in a bad light with some football fans, coaches, referees, sports analysts, to mention a few. They consider him narcissistic, immature, and unnecessarily prone to making silly outbursts on the pitch and during press conferences. But the Morale incidents mainly dampen the mood of any team he may be coaching at the time.

In Controversies; Mourinho in Recent History

We have spotlighted some of Jose Mourinho’s dated controversies as a football manager. Let’s now explore some of the most recent shenanigans he has been a part of.

Arguably, Jose Mourinho’s most controversial act played out during his second stint as Chelsea FC’s coach.

Chelsea’s then Doctor Eva Carneiro, the first woman to serve as an on-pitch Doctor in both the Premier and Champions League, rushed into the pitch to treat Eden Hazard in a game against Swansea, that was on August 8, 2015.

Mourinho attracted the ire of a lot of people, within and outside his team, for hurling a Portuguese phrase, deemed sexist, at Doctor Eva when she rushed onto the pitch to attend to Eden Hazard. He also called her ‘impulsive and naive’ for what she did.

Reputation wise, the above imbroglio caused Chelsea FC a really bad time and the club even had to go to trial with Eva Carneiro on the incident. Dr. Eva Carneiro later left Chelsea FC to kickstart her private practice as she was demoted from the first-team Doctor.

A cursory glance at Jose Mourinho’s career also reveals that, particularly in the last decade, he has a reputation for falling out with his players.

His coaching stint at Real Madrid, Chelsea, and Manchester United bears witness to this claim.

At Madrid, Mourinho had issues with Iker Casillas and his allies in the dressing room on several occasions. He was known to bench players when he perceives disrespect or insubordination from them. All that culminated in his public criticism by Pepe while he was at Real Madrid.

At Manchester United, something similar played out. This time around, the tussle was between Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho. And some sports analysts believe the feud destroyed the cohesion of Manchester United’s team so much so that Anthony Valencia like an Instagram Post critical of Jose Mourinho.

Wrapping Up

By and large, some insist that Jose Mourinho is a misunderstood football genius because of his enviable collection of trophies and his ability to get results in soccer tournaments but on the other side of the divide are those who believe he’s a taskmaster with personality issues.

In fact, that narrative has found eloquent expression in the way some pundits try to compare Jose Mourinho to Donald Trump.

Jose Mourinho has a loyal following of admirers and detractors. What else can one expect from one of the most controversial figures in football in recent history?