Jose Mourinho is a legend in his own time. Along with securing a bounty of silverware for every football club he has been involved with, he has a knack of getting ‘ordinary’ players to display extraordinary skills.
He is the kind of guy who prefers experience over youth. He is also the kind of guy who has the ability to recognise potential and then mould it into something really special.
Over his twenty years in the hot seat Mourinho has made good singings and bad. Here are three players who thrived under the watchful eyes of the controversial tactician:
With Mourinho as manager the dynamic Dutch midfielder excelled at Inter Milan. Their time together may have been short and sweet but it was a purple patch that saw the Serie A club win the much-vaunted treble.
The Utrecht-born player was key to Mourinho’s winning strategy and in their last season together Sneijder arguably reached the apex of his career. He was named Midfielder of the Season and one of the Best Midfielders in the World.
To Mourinho, Sneijder was the perfect number 10 - a player who was not only solid in defence but capable of finishing in the box. To Sneijder, Mourinho was a man he would ‘go through fire with’. It was a relationship full of mutual admiration.
Serb Nemanja Matic has a special relationship with the Special One. Mourinho was instrumental in bringing him to Chelsea in 2014 and two years later, Matic followed his beloved coach to the Red Devils.
The two proved to have a strong and successful working relationship so much so the Blues won the Premier League with Matic in the midfield. At the North London club, he was Mourinho’s favourite player.
When Matic moved across to Manchester United Mourinho spoke glowingly of his loyalty, consistency and ambition. As the key enforcer in the midfield and a player with great defensive skills, Matic was a vital cog in the team.
Their time together at Old Trafford was short lived. Jose Mourinho was sacked due to below par results. With his friend and protector out of the picture, Matic basically fell out of favour and has spent more time sitting on the side lines than playing football.
Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimović needs no introduction. He is one of the greats of the game. Over a dazzling career Ibrahimović has scored more than 500 goals and accumulated a treasure chest of silverware.
Although he is in the twilight of his career, there are still plenty of clubs in the topflight that would pay top dollar for his sublime skills. How does Jose Mourinho fit into the picture?
The two first joined forces when Mourinho was in charge of Inter Milan. It was a fruitful relationship from the get-go as the club bagged the Serie A with Ibrahimović leading from the front.
That was the Italian Job. A few seasons down the line and Ibrahimović joined Manchester United - and Mourinho - as a free agent. In their first season together, the Red Devils won the FA Community Shield, the League Cup and the Europa League!
Back in the EPL
Football coach extraordinaire Jose Mourinho has recently made a much-anticipated comeback into the EPL. This time he is at the helm of Tottenham Hotspurs.
Rumours are currently doing the rounds of possible reunions with the glory boys - guys like Zlatan and Nemanja Matic. One is a bit beyond his prime and the other is an outcast at his existing club. Who will get the nod?
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