If you looked up box office in a dictionary, you might just find José Mourinho smiling back at you with his iconic grin.
He is one of the most successful managers in football history, but he is arguably just as well known for his attention-grabbing quotes.
In this article, we will be ranking what we believe are the top 10 articles from the Portuguese great during his time in charge of some massive football clubs.
Here is our Top 10 ranking of the most inspiring and outrageous quotes from the managerial career of José Mourinho from Chelsea and beyond.
Following a stunning stint at FC Porto that ended with the 2004 Champions League trophy, Mourinho moved to Chelsea, who had been purchased by Roman Abramovich 12 months earlier.
The acquisition of world stars had already begun, but the new-look ‘Blues’ lacked a boss able to manage the expectation and a squad full of egos.
Step forward the Portuguese, who announced himself to the English media with one of the most memorable quotes ever uttered. From that day on, he would forever be known as the “Special One”.
Injuries cause problems for every manager on the planet, and Mourinho is no exception. However, not every boss has such a peculiar analogy for such situations.
These comments came after a 3-0 Chelsea victory over Blackburn Rovers on January 31st 2007, just as the winter transfer window drew to a close.
It is not hard to picture the man himself tucked up in a cashmere blanket, although even then, he would probably find something to complain about, and that’s why this great quote has made it to ninth on our ranking.
Ever since he swapped the Estádio do Dragão for Stamford Bridge 18 years ago, Mourinho has made full use of the enormous funds available to him to improve his squads, whether at Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur or Roma.
During the early years of Roman Abramovich’s reign in south-west London, Chelsea’s wealth was unrivalled, but that didn’t stop Mourinho from complaining about a lack of cash.
As such, we were treated to another pearl of wisdom from the wily old fox, which makes it to number 8 on our ranking of his best quotes.
Mourinho’s two years at Inter Milan were arguably the most successful of his career. Under his tutelage, the ‘Nerazzurri’ won two Serie A titles, a Coppa Italia and the Champions League, with the Italian giants completing the coveted treble during the 2009/10 season.
In Europe that year, Inter beat Barcelona in the semi-finals with a backs-against-the-wall performance at the Camp Nou.
Despite possessing world-class players such as Samuel Eto’o, Wesley Sneijder and Javier Zanetti, Mourinho chose to compare his side to a “small car”, continuing to exploit the underdog mentality that has served him well throughout his time in the dugout.
This is easily the most inspiring quote yet on our ranking, as it saw Mourinho play off of the underdog mentality.
Madrid was the next host to Mourinho’s insight – or waffle, depending on how you look at it. His reign at the helm of the ‘Los Merengues’ started with a 0-0 draw away at RCD Mallorca, a major disappointment as Real went head-to-head for the La Liga title with rivals Barcelona.
Mourinho outed himself as a fan of J.K. Rowling’s sorcerous creation but, even though the Portuguese is indeed no wizard, fans of the Spanish club will have expected more from a manager who had just added Mesut Özil, Ángel di María and Sami Khedira to a squad already including Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaká and Karim Benzema.
“Magic is fiction and football is real” however will remain a classic quote!
While Mourinho’s words continued to write headlines across the continent, his return to the Premier League coincided with some of his greatest hits.
As Chelsea challenged Manchester City and Liverpool for the league title during the 2013/14 campaign, José compared the ‘Blues’ to a “small horse” (perhaps a Shetland pony?) among two bigger horses.
This ultimately proved to be a self-fulfilling prophecy, as several disappointing performances against the division’s minnows led to Chelsea finishing in third place, as City celebrated.
High-profile spats with opposition managers have dominated Mourinho’s career, and his rivalry with Arsène Wenger perhaps tops the lot.
The two were constantly at each other’s throat – mainly metaphorically but, once or twice, quite literally – as they took charge of two of England’s most significant footballing institutions in the 2000s and early 10s.
In 2014, Mourinho made light of Wenger’s barren silverware spell in north London, and his “specialist in failure” comment has gone down in folklore.
The Chelsea boss rubbed salt into his nemesis’ wounds only a few weeks later, as the ‘Blues’ hammered the ‘Gunners’ 6-0 at Stamford Bridge in Wenger’s 1000th game in charge of Arsenal, adding to the iconic status of this quote and why it comes in at 4th on our ranking.
2014 was a vintage year for Mourinho quips. Another contemporary was in his verbal cross hair this time – Pep Guardiola.
The two clashed initially when they managed Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively, and even when they weren’t working in the same country, Mourinho could not resist taking a swipe.
They continued to butt heads when Guardiola took over at Manchester City in 2016, and more memorable moments in the rivalry ensued.
The “Guardiola is bald” comment will remain a classic in the pantheon of Mourinho greats, which is why it comes in at third on our ranking.
It is now October 2015, and Chelsea have just been beaten 3-1 at home by Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool. That was the defending Premier League champions’ third defeat in four league matches, while they had won just three of their first 11 games in the competition, and Mourinho’s future at the club looked to be in serious peril.
After the latest loss, BT reporter Des Kelly attempted to get something – anything – out of the disgruntled manager, but Mourinho stood firm.
His anger was evident for all to see, though. In the words of Ronan Keating, “You say it best when you say nothing at all.”
Ironically, the Great One saying almost nothing has become an absolute meme of a quote and that’s part of the reason why it has made it to the second place position of our quote ranking.
Chelsea’s dismal downturn in form ended in Mourinho’s sacking. It wasn’t long before he moved into his next job, taking charge at Manchester United.
This did not go down well amongst ‘Blues’ supporters, who subsequently labelled their former hero Judas, seemingly forgetting Abramovich had sacked José for a second time.
Mourinho responded in typical fashion, reminding those he previously adored him just how much he achieved in the British capital.
It was not the last time he would use his glowing C.V as an argument to back up his ability, either, but this huge quote has made it to the top of our top 10 José Mourinho quotes ranking and for good reason.
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I am a writer with over 10 years of experience covering professional wrestling, mixed martial arts and boxing. Previously worked for PROGRESS Wrestling as Head of Media, my work can also be found on Fight Fans, NoobFeed and KeenGamer. You can also find older content I have written on SEScoops, WrestlingNewsCo and WrestlingHeadlines under Jake Jeremy.
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