Mourinho’s league title with Real Madrid is his magnum opus

Mourinho's success at Madrid remains his Magnum Opus

OPINION Mourinho’s league title with Real Madrid is his magnum opus

Joba Ogunwale 23:14 - 26.01.2023

The Portuguese tactician has won a whole lot in his illustrious career, but his success in Spain remains the best.

Love him or hate him, Jose Mourinho will go down as one of the greatest managers in football history. 

Mourinho forayed into management as a translator for Bobby Robson at Barcelona, but the Portuguese tactician stepped out of his former boss’ shadow before going on to cement his status as one of the greatest managers the beautiful game has ever seen. 

Some loathe him, some love him. But no matter where you stand on the side of the divide, you cannot deny his greatness. One of the things that make Mourinho great is his penchant for winning. 

A brief look into Mourinho's successful career 

The self-acclaimed special one has won titles at almost all the clubs he ever managed. While Mourinho did not win a trophy in his first full-time role as a head coach, his work at Uniao took him to FC Porto. 

It was at Porto that Mourinho really caught the attention of the world. The 60-year-old won the Europa League (formerly the UEFA Cup), the Primeira Liga and Taca de Portugal. 

Mourinho announced himself on the big stage with a Champions League title at Porto

But bigger things would come the following year as Porto defended their league before Mourinho led the team to the big one, the Champions League. 

Against all odds, Porto beat teams like Manchester United and Deportivo La Coruna en route to winning the Champions League. 

If the world had not taken notice of Mourinho before, the Champions League win certainly got their attention as he left for Chelsea that year. 

Mourinho continued his habit of winning trophies at Chelsea, winning two Premier League titles, the Carabao Cup and FA Cup. Following his spell at Chelsea, he went to Inter Milan, where he won two Serie A titles, including one in the treble-winning season of 2009/2010.

Jose Mourinho won the Premier League in his first season in charge at Chelsea

 Following his stint at Inter Milan, the Roma manager went to Real Madrid, where he continued his winning trend before returning for a second spell at Chelsea, where he won another league title. After his second spell at Chelsea, Mourinho went to Manchester United, where he won three titles. 

Jose Mourinho won the Champions League with Inter Milan in 2010

He left United to sign for Tottenham Hotspur but never won a trophy. However, it was not for lack of trying but because Spurs sacked him for the Carabao Cup final. 

After leaving Spurs, Mourinho joined Roma, regaining his winning touch as he led them to the UEFA Europa Conference League title. 

Mourinho also won the Conference with AS Roma

Over the course of his 20-plus career, Mourinho has always been a serial winner. However, while every trophy contributed to his greatness, his success at Real Madrid remains the best of them all. 

Mourinho-The man who took Madrid out of Barca's shadows 

Mourinho joined Real Madrid at a time Los Blancos were in the shadow of their arch-rivals, Barcelona. Despite assembling one of the most expensive squads in history, Madrid’s galacticos could not stop Pep Guardiola’s almighty Barcelona. 

Madrid had initially appointed Manuel Pellegrini to manage the galacticos, but the ex-Manchester City man never got the better of the Catalan giants despite amassing a whopping 96 points in the 2009/2010 season. 

Pellegrini could not stop Barcelona

However, one thing happened that season. Mourinho stopped Barcelona from retaining the Champions League title they won in 2009. The Portuguese tactician, who was Inter Milan’s manager at that time, led the Nerrazzuri to a 3-2 aggregate win in the semi-final. 

Inter secured a 3-1 win at home in the first leg before a Mourinho tactical masterclass in the second leg at Camp Nou restricted Barcelona to a 1-0 win. 

Mourinho went on to win the competition for the second time, beating Bayern Munich in the final at the Santiago Bernabeu. The fact that Mourinho stopped Barcelona from playing a Champions League final at Bernabeu earned him the affection of Madrid faithfuls. 

And having seen what he could do, Real Madrid authorities wasted no time in appointing Mourinho as the man to lead Madrid to glory. 

For Mourinho, it was also a dream job, but a difficult one as Pep’s Barcelona team was the best team in the world with little or no weakness in their squad. 

In fact, it would not be an exaggeration to say Barcelona had arguably the best team in the modern era between 2009 and 2012. 

They had Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and the greatest of them all Lionel Messi. Yet, Mourinho took on the challenge as Real Madrid's boss. 

Barcelona squad between 2010-2012 is arguably one of the best teams in football history

Mourinho had a rollercoaster year in his first season as Madrid’s manager. His first taste of El-Clasico ended in a humiliating 5-0 defeat, while he also lost the Champions League semi-final clash 3-1 on aggregate. The fallout of that match was his infamous rant, which saw him accuse UEFA of favouring Barcelona. 

Although Mourinho managed to get one over Barcelona in the Copa del Rey, it was not satisfying enough, and he knew that. 

Mourinho regrouped in his second year, and it turned out to be arguably the best season of his career. That year, Madrid came up against peak Barcelona, but more importantly the best version of Messi. 

Yet, Mourinho’s Madrid went toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in football history. Madrid were unplayable that season and even a 4-3 loss in the first leg of the Clasico could not stop them. 

Mourinho’s men won all but one of their home games that season while they also lost just one away game, drawing two games. Los Blancos won a whopping 32 matches out of 38 games in the league, losing just two games and drawing two matches. 

Mourinho’s Madrid were so good that they had the highest-ever point haul in La Liga history (100) points, although Barcelona replicated the same feat a season later. 

LaLiga table 2011/2012 season

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However, Mourinho’s Madrid in the 2011/2012 campaign raised the bar so high. What made their success more impressive is that they also faced the best version of Messi in a peak Barcelona squad that season. 

Messi scored an astonishing 50 league goals that season, yet Barcelona could not stop Mourinho’s men. The final nail in the coffin was when Madrid went to Camp Nou to secure a 2-1 win. 

Messi scored 50 league goals in the 2011/2012 season

The result sealed Mourinho’s mission in Madrid, free Los Blancos from the psychological hold of Barcelona. The only blemish for Mourinho and Madrid in that season was the lack of Champions League. 

Madrid got to the semi-final that year, but they lost to Bayern Munich in an agonising penalty shootout. 

However, even with that disappointment, the 2011/2012 season still remains arguably the finest year in Mourinho’s illustrious career. 

While his treble-winning achievement or his league titles Chelsea were also impressive, his greatest triumph will always be his league success with Real Madrid because he ended the dominance of one of the best teams ever assembled in football history. And he did it in a 38-game league campaign. 

Happy birthday Jose Mourinho. 

  • The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Pulse Sports.

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