Widely considered to be one of the greatest managers of all time, former Chelsea coach and the ‘special one’, Jose Mourinho, will take charge of his 1000th game today – although it won’t be taking place on these shores. His Roma side take on Sassuolo in Italy’s Serie A at the Stadio Olimpico this evening; the legendary Portuguese boss will be typically confident.
It seems just like yesterday when a fresh-faced Mourinho was presented to Chelsea, and indeed football fans across the UK. Arriving with confidence and poise, having just lifted the Champions League with Porto, he immediately lit up the Premier League with his tactical superiority and punchy press conferences.
Despite his meteoric rise, Mourinho has often been embroiled in controversy. He’s been known to fall out with players and owners alike, has been axed on a number of occasions, and has held long-lasting public spats with Arsène Wenger and Pep Guardiola.
Having been hugely successful as the manager of Inter Milan, he’s now returned to Italy to coach Roma, who have made a 100% start to the season.
But Mourinho’s acclaim isn’t confined to Italy, in Britain the League Managers Association has welcomed him as the 33rd member in the LMA Hall of Fame 1000 Club.
Sir Alex Ferguson had warm words for his colleague, telling the LMA that “reaching 1000 matches as a manager will be such a proud day for both Jose and his family and rightly so.”
“To reach this landmark as a manager is an outstanding accomplishment for Jose, particularly whilst excelling and winning titles in four European leagues and of course winning two Champions League trophies along the way.”
Speaking in a press conference ahead of Roma’s fixture against Sassuolo, Jose Mourinho reflected on reaching the 1000 milestone.
“I will take this opportunity to thank the League Managers Association, that have put me in their Hall of Fame of 1000 Game Managers, that’s a great thing…”
“Obviously I want to thank Sir Alex, as his words carry a huge amount of weight – in a good way, I also want to thank Sassuolo coach Alessio Dionisi for his words. They left me a bit humbled. I have a lot of respect for him, and for this new generation of coaches who are coming through alongside him.”
Jose Mourinho’s career is one that is envied by many if not all. A tactically astute manager, who has won 637 games of the 999 he has coached, by every standard, that is exceptional.