Jose Mourinho’s surprise appointment as the next head coach of Roma marks a return to Italian football for one of the most successful bosses in the history of the game.
Mourinho was confirmed as the successor to Paulo Fonseca on Tuesday, only a few weeks after he was sacked by Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur.
He initially came to prominence as coach of Porto, taking the Portuguese club to the UEFA Cup Final in 2003, where they beat Celtic, and the Champions League Final a year later, where they beat Monaco. Mourinho then decamped to Chelsea, lifting the Premier League title on two occasions before a split early in the 2006-07 season.
The 58-year-old previously called Serie A home between 2008 and 2010, when he sat on the bench at Inter after departing Chelsea. Mourinho won the Scudetto twice in his two seasons with the Nerazzurri, the second of which coming as part of an historic treble, with the Coppa Italia and the Champions League.
Mourinho was in charge of 108 Inter games before he left for Real Madrid in the wake of the treble-winning season, recording a win percentage of 62%. He was initially appointed on a three-year contract, to succeed Roberto Mancini, and made a strong first impression by speaking fluent Italian at his first press conference.
Inter won the title with a 10-point lead over city rivals Milan in 2008-09 but struggled in the Champions League, where they were eliminated in the first knockout round by Manchester United.
That was rectified a year later as Mourinho masterminded a Champions League win over Bayern Munich, with the semi-final victory against Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona arguably his greatest accomplishment. Inter held a 3-1 lead from the first leg, at San Siro, and though they lost 1-0 at Camp Nou, it was widely considered a defensive masterclass from Mourinho’s team.
Mourinho departed Inter little more than a week after the Champions League success, replacing Manuel Pellegrini at Real Madrid, having met with Florentino Perez in Madrid after the final. He took Los Blancos to the title in 2011-12 but that, a Copa del Rey in 2011 and the 2012 Supercopa de Espana were his only pieces of silverware while in Spain.
He returned to Chelsea in 2013 and won another Premier League title, having won two in his previous spell at Stamford Bridge, and, after leaving the Blues in 2015, was appointed by Manchester United a year later. United won the Europa League in 2017, but Mourinho was sacked in December 2018.
Tottenham appointed Mourinho a year later but a series of disappointing results and performances in 2021 led to his departure, in April, days before the club was due to contest the Carabao Cup Final with Manchester City. Spurs would lose 1-0 to City under interim manager Ryan Mason.
Mourinho’s next move was widely speculated upon but despite recently commenting that he would manage a rival of Inter, the move to Roma came out of the blue, having been announced the same day it was confirmed Fonseca would not coach the Lupi in 2021-22.
He joins Roma having won the title in four countries – Portugal, England, Italy and Spain – and four European trophies with three different clubs. Mourinho, who famously dubbed himself the Special One when he was first appointed by Chelsea, is also the last foreign coach to have won the Scudetto – Massimiliano Allegri has won six since 2010, Antonio Conte has four and Maurizio Sarri has one.
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