Wednesday 17 March 2010

Sports & People: José Mourinho (The Special One) & his Philosophy

José Mourinho[ʒuˈzɛ moˈɾiɲu] , a name unfamiliar to many if you are not into football, but a name so special that one will definitely know if you like the game.  

Unbeaten Home Record
Mourinho is currently on a run of 131 home league matches unbeaten (38 with Porto, 60 with Chelsea and 33 with Inter). His last and only home league defeat came when Porto were defeated 3–2 by Beira-Mar on 23 February 2002. 

José began his career as a footballer, but did not work out very well and so he switched to management. Being the "apprentice" of Sir Bobby Robson, he learnt much from the veteran coach and worked with him at top Portuguese teams Sporting, FC Porto, and at Spanish giant FC Barcelona. He has won many prestigious awards, and the most famous of all, the UEFA Champions League champion in 2004 with FC Porto. He helped to transform Chelsea from a downturning English Premier League(EPL) club to a two-time EPL champion.

In a press conference upon joining the English side, Mourinho said,
"Please don't call me arrogant, but I'm European champion and I think I'm a special one," which resulted in the media dubbing him "The Special One".[1]

But the best part of all, he decided to coach my favourite Italian team, Inter Milan, in June 2008. Inter Milan was already performing very well in the local league, Serie A, under the coaching of Roberto Mancini, but the club has not been able to win the UEFA Champions League Cup since  1965, so José Mourinho has a huge task/burden on his shoulders.

Most people describe José as "cocky", but I think that only those who are great and possess very strong self-belief can be justified for that level of "cockiness", and José definitely is a man who has my respect for this cockiness.

"Sometimes in football you win because you're lucky. Sometimes you win because you are the best team. Sometimes you win because you were the best team from the first to the last minute. That team was my team and my players."[2]

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It really does take a lot of self-confidence and passion to make such a speech, because if you are a Chelsea fan, you will never like this. He added,

"I'm not saying Inter are better than them. I'm saying that, today, Inter were much better than Chelsea and that brought frustration to the Chelsea players.''[2]

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To be, José is The Special One not only because he is outspoken, but the fact that he speaks truly of his heart and has nothing to hide, no matter how much pressure he faces when facing the harsh press:

"I'm not very happy because they (Chelsea) lost. I'm very happy because my players are happy, my supporters are happy, my president is happy and because I worked so much for this game."[2]

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These words showed that he is actually a very smart coach who knows how to balance his words so that he does not offend his ex-Chelsea fans. Even his opponent, Ancelotti (the coach of Chelsea) praised José,

"We never had total control of the game and that stopped us from creating chances, even taking advantage of set plays. Above all we were never consistent in our football. The game was won not with quality, but with the strong pressure on every area of the field and the sacrifices made by their players. It wasn't easy to handle that many strikers, so they all had to work very hard."[3]

The history of José Mourinho will continue to be written every day, just like everyone else on this planet, but unlike everyone else, he writes his own history with his version of determinations, passion and attitude -- in the José Mourinho style,

"The only thing I can do is prepare the game with all my qualities, with all my motivation, and play the game tomorrow from my angle and read the game as best I can and make the best possible decisions and give everything I have to my team and help get us through to the quarter-final. Chelsea is different for me and of course I have to be different, but after ninety minutes the first person to win is me."[4]

Maybe you do not fancy football, maybe you do not care at all, but there are always a lot to learn from people in sports, particularly from those who are as "Special" as José Mourinho, and these are all the qualities of their mind. Learn them, digest them, and then put them into action in your work field, your life, your energy!

You never know how successful you can be in the future! (Don't forget that "future" is any moment after "now", so it can be sooner than you think!)

Never underestimate yourself, and

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"Don't settle for less' -- José Mourinho

cocky -- adjective /ˈkɒk.i//ˈkɑː.ki/ informal disapproving

describes a young person who is confident in a way that is unpleasant and sometimes rude