“Mourinho is the world’s best manager.” – Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid and ex-Machester United player.
One of the only five managers to win European Cup with two different clubs and the winner of the first FIFA Ballon d’oR Best Coach Award, Jose Mourinho, has been regarded as the best manager of his age. The Portuguese coach has so far lead Chelsea to the top of the table amazingly this season. After all, he’s not the ‘Special One’ for nothing. But Why is Jose Mourinho The Special One? Read ahead.
The 51-year-old is the youngest among his other leading counterparts in Premier League including Arsene Wenger, Louis van Gaal and Manuel Pellegrini, but has experienced more successful stints with various clubs than any other manager.
‘Winners don’t do different things; they do things differently.’
Jose Mourinho, like every successful person, possesses some special qualities crucial for achieving success. But what makes him different from the others? Some will say he was born with the understanding of football while, for some, his attitude makes him one in a million. So, here’s a look at the success mantras and qualities of The Special One.
Working hard and smart
When you ask someone the key to their success, the first thing that is told to you is- hard work. Jose Mourinho too believes in working hard, but along with that, he believes that working well and being smart is equally important.
“You must work hard and work well. Many people work hard, but not well.” – said the Portugal international. Mourinho has his influence on the people around him as well.
His assistant Rui Faria said – “Every other top coach says they work hard and they prepare better than anyone else, but they can’t make what Mourinho does. Everything he does is better. He works harder than anyone else.”
Life-long student of football
After failing to make it big in his playing career, Jose Mourinho chose coaching as his field since a young age of 23. He attended ISEF, Technical University of Lisbon, to study sports science, a major component of which was psychology. There’s a reason why he can read the minds of his opponents and his own players. He then attended coaching courses in England and Scotland.
He applies this knowledge of sports science, physical education and psychology into his coaching practices very well. Although he studied the techniques of many great managers and sought advice of his mentors Sir Bobby Robson and Louis van Gaal, Jose would always develop his own methods and style of play.
“He is a bit special in his approach to every game. Every player is very well prepared. They know their job.” – Arjen Robben, Bayern Munich and ex-Chelsea player.
The Portuguese mastermind has an in-depth knowledge of football formations. He knows the strength and weakness of all his players. His player profiles are based on personality traits, athletic abilities and technical skills.
“We analyse our rivals and we try to imagine how they will play against us. Using these thoughts, we position certain players in certain positions according to the opposition’s strengths and weaknesses.” – Jose Mourinho.
A true leader
“There is no coach like him when it comes to sticking his neck out and defending everyone, that way reducing the tension within the team when things aren’t going well.” – Diego Milito, ex-Inter Milan forward.
Everyone who knows Jose well will agree to what Milito has said. Mourinho is a true leader who believes in empowering each and every one of his players, instead of controlling them. When it comes to defending his players and making a stand for them, there is no other coach like the Portuguese. His players are always assured that their manager believes in them and that they can win.
“When the players think you are strong and that you trust them, it helps them to have a good attitude.” – Jose Mourinho.
Knows what to speak and when
PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, in his autobiography ‘I Am Zlatan’, said:
“Jose Mourinho is a big star…He’s cool. The first time he met [my wife] he whispered to her: ‘Helena, you have only one mission. Feed Zlatan, let him sleep, keep him happy!’ The guy says what he wants. I like him.”
Ibra has once again hit the bull’s eye! Jose Mourinho’s straight-forward statements in any of the press conferences or interviews, are a joy to read and listen. The man knows the best way to express himself, whether it is to praise his players, blaming them and himself for a poor performance or smartly criticizing the FA/UEFA or referees and coaches. Arsene Wenger and Manuel Pellegrini probably know it the best!
Effective communication with his players
“I don’t know how he does it. He has some sort of trick and everybody listens to him.” – Karim Benzema, Real Madrid.
One thing that Jose is known for is communicating his ideas to his players through writing. The 51-year-old believes that it can get his ideas to the players to the best effect. Mou demonstrated the art of effective communication since the early days of his managerial career. His secret is to control the emotions so as to relate to the team in a dynamic way, instead of shouting and screaming all the time. He says that there is a right time and place for both aggression and calmness. Getting the right balance between the two is the difference between success and failure when handling different people and situations.
Edited By: Vikram Vadiganeni