He is savvy, he is rude, he is controversial, he is the bargain, he is the special one, so they say…, all the same he is Jose Mourinho. Take a look at top 50 choice controversial quotes from one of the most achieved and controversial manager in the world’s biggest sport.
1. “I don’t regret it. The only thing I have to understand is I’m in England, so maybe even when I think I am not wrong, I have to adapt to your country and I have to respect that. I have a lot of respect for Liverpool fans and what I did, the sign of silence – ‘shut your mouth’ – was not for them, it was for the English press” – Mourinho defends putting a finger to his lips during the 2005 Carling Cup final against Liverpool, an action which resulted in him being sent to the stands.
2. “Luis Fernández (Barca assistant manager) has made this shock [defeat of Barcelona] a war of dogs. I only talk about men, not of rude children.” – first contact with the press, after Fernández made fun of Guardiola following his team defeating Barcelona
3. “It’s clear that against Barcelona you have no chance. I don’t understand why. I don’t know if it’s the publicity of UNICEF [the club’s shirt sponsor], I don’t know if it’s the friendship of [Spanish football federation president Angel Maria] Villar at UEFA, where he is vice-president, I don’t know if it’s because they are very nice, but they have got this power. The rest of us have no chance.” – post-match conference in CL game against Barcelona after being sent off for protesting Pepe’s red card decision
4. “As you Spanish are world champions, your friends in the press protect you … like the goalkeeper” – Mourinho with another dig at exiled keeper Casillas.
5. “I am no longer Chelsea coach and I do not have to defend them anymore, so I think it is correct if I say Drogba is a diver.”
6. “When I saw Frank Rijkaard (then Barcelona coach) entering the referee’s dressing room I couldn’t believe it. When Didier Drogba was sent off (after half-time) I wasn’t surprised” – on losing to Barcelona in 2006. He was later given a touchline ban by UEFA.
7. “Please don’t call me arrogant, but I’m European champion and I think I’m a special one.”
On his unveiling as Chelsea manager, Mourinho reminds every one of his achievements at Porto.
8. “Young players are a little bit like melons. Only when you open and taste the melon are you 100%” – “Young players are a little bit like melons. Only when you open and taste the melon are you 100 per cent sure that the melon is good. Sometimes you have beautiful melons but they don’t taste very good and some other melons are a bit ugly and when you open them, the taste is fantastic. One thing is youth football, one thing is professional football.” For example, Scott Sinclair, the way he played against Arsenal and Man United, we know the melon we have.” – Chelsea are not a club known for their youth policy, but when quizzed about his opinions on bringing some young players into the squad, Mourinho had a rather philosophical answer.
9. “I am prepared. The more pressure there is, the stronger I am. In Portugal, we say the bigger the ship, the stronger the storm. Fortunately for me, I have always been in big ships. FC Porto was a very big ship in Portugal, Chelsea was also a big ship in England and Inter was a great ship in Italy. Now I’m at Real Madrid, which is considered the biggest ship on the planet.” – Jose getting ready to set sail off into the sunlight in his new club as manager.
11. “I want to be where people love me, in England I am loved by the fans and the media who treat me in a fair way, I know in Spain it is different because some people hate me.” – Mourinho hints at Madrid departure following Champions League elimination to Borussia Dortmund, April 2013.
12. “If I am hated at Barcelona, it is their problem but not mine. Fear is not a word in my football dictionary.” – The former Barca employee on his arrival at the Bernabeu.
13. “The style of how we play is very important. But it is omelettes and eggs. No eggs – no omelettes! It depends on the quality of the eggs. In the supermarket you have class one, two or class three eggs and some are more expensive than others and some give you better omelettes. So when the class one eggs are in Waitrose and you cannot go there, you have a problem.” – Mourinho gives a masterclass in the art of the extended metaphor.
14. “Look, I’m a coach, I’m not Harry Potter. He is magical, but in reality there is no magic. Magic is fiction and football is real.” – In a response to a press that ‘Jose’s lost his magic wand’
15. I hate to speak about individuals. Players don’t win you trophies, teams win trophies, squads win trophies.
16. “The only thing that I want to say is that we are the best ones and in normal conditions we are more than the best ones. In normal conditions we will be champions. In abnormal conditions we also will be champions.” – As Porto coach, Mourinho demonstrates the confident streak he would go on to develop later in his career.
17. “For me, pressure is bird flu. I’m feeling a lot of pressure with the problem in Scotland. It’s not fun and I’m more scared of it than football.” – Mourinho puts the game into perspective when asked about the pressure Manchester United were exerting on his Chelsea side in the title race.
18. “If the club decide to sack me because of bad results, that’s part of the game. If it happens I will be a millionaire and get another club a couple of months later.” – On being sacked
19. “I have top players and I’m sorry, we have a top manager. Please do not call me arrogant because what I say is true. I’m European champion, I’m not one out of the bottle, I think I’m a special one.” – On becoming Chelsea manager for the first time
20. “If I wanted to have an easy job… I would have stayed at Porto – beautiful blue chair, the Uefa Champions League trophy, I would have been second, after God, in the eyes of the fans even if I had never won another thing.” – Mourinho left his previous job at Porto after winning the Champions League and other domestic honours with the Portuguese club.
21. “As for Lo Monaco I do not know who he is. With the name Monaco I have heard of Bayern Monaco (Munich) and the Monaco GP, the Tibetan Monaco (Monk), and the Principality of Monaco. I have never heard of any others.” – Proving that he is still capable of mixing it in a non-native tongue, this time in Italian, after Catania president Pietro Lo Monaco claimed he wanted to ‘smack [Mourinho] in the mouth’ following Inter’s November 2008 Serie A win in Sicily.
22. “I am very happy at Inter. I am not happy in Italian football – because I don’t like it and they don’t like me. Simple.” – Mourinho was never in love with Italian soccer during his two year stay.
23. “Why drive Aston Martin all the time, when I have Ferrari and Porsche as well? That would just be stupid” – When asked about rotating Joe Cole, Arjen Robben and Damien Duff
24. “Ricardo Carvalho seems to have problems understanding things, maybe he should have an IQ test, or go to a mental hospital or something” – After Carvalho blasted Mourinho for not picking him to play
25. “As we say in Portugal, they brought the bus and they left the bus in front of the goal.” – Following a 0-0 draw with Tottenham Hotspur, Mourinho
26. “It is like having a blanket that is too small for the bed. You pull the blanket up to keep your chest warm and your feet stick out. I cannot buy a bigger blanket becuase the supermarket is closed. But I am content because the blanket is cashmere. It is no ordinary blanket.” – on Chelsea’s injury crisis and the end of January transfer window after Ashley Cole was injured in a 3-0 win over Blackburn, 31 January 2007
27. “I am not concerned about how Chelsea are viewed morally. What does concern me is that we are treated in a different way to other clubs. Some clubs are treated as devils, some are treated as angels. I don’t think we are so ugly that we should be seen as the devil and I don’t think Arsene Wenger and David Dein (Arsenal’s Vice Chair) are so beautiful that they should be viewed as angels.”
28. “If Roman Abramovich helped me out in training we would be bottom of the league and if I had to work in his world of big business, we would be bankrupt!”
29. “Sometimes you see beautiful people with no brains. Sometimes you have ugly people who are intelligent, like scientists.” – On the state of the Stamford Bridge pitch prior to their home Champions League game against Barcelona in 2006
30. “They have to enjoy playing for me and Chelsea but they don’t have to be in love with me.” – Referring to his Chelsea players
31. “I told [Adrian] Mutu, you are already a rich boy, you won a lot of money, you are still in a big contract. So no problem with your future about money, no problem about prestige in your home country. When you go back to Romania you will be one of the kings. But five years after you leave football nobody remembers you. Only if you do big things. This is what makes history.”
32. “That was not a football score, it was a hockey score…in training I often play matches of three against three and when the score reaches 5-4 I send the players back to the dressing room, because they are not defending properly” – on the Tottenham vs Arsenal match, which ended 5-4 to Arsenal
33. “Barcelona have a great club. But in 200 years of history they have won the European Cup only once. I have been managing for a few years and I have already won the same amount.” – said during the 2005-2006 season. Barcelona went on to win the Champions League.
34. “You can have the top stars to bring the attention, you can have the best stadium, you can have the best facilities, you can have the most beautiful project in terms of marketing and all this kind of thing. But if you don’t win… All the work these people are doing is forgotten.”
35. “Would you phone the president of Ghana?” – Jose Mourinho when asked by a Ghanaian journalist if he ever phoned Roman Abramovich to see how he was.
36. “From here each practice, each game, each minute of your social life must centre on the aim of being champions” “First-teamer will not be a correct word. I need all of you. You need each other. We are a TEAM.” – in a letter sent to the players
37. “The crowd is magnificent, singing “F**k off Mourinho!” and so on…” – in a press conference at Anfield
38. When I go to the press conference before the game, in my mind the game has already started…And when I go to the press conference after the game, the game has not finished yet.”
39. “What I’m about to say is not a criticism, I’m just stating a fact: there were no ball-boys in the second half, which is something typical of small teams in difficulty. We intended to play like men and not fall on the ground at the slightest touch.” – Mourinho calls Barcelona a small team after defeat in the Supercopa final at the beginning of 2011/12.
40. “It’s not even a game between me and him. It’s a game where a kid made some statements not showing maturity and respect. Maybe [it’s his] education, difficult childhood, no education, maybe [it is] the consequence of that.” – Response to scathing criticism by one Ronaldo, one of his players at Madrid.
41. “Maybe the guy drank red wine or beer with breakfast instead of milk.” – After a Sheffield United fan threw a bottle at Frank Lampard
42. “I understand why he [Alex Ferguson] is a bit emotional. He has some top players in the world and they should be doing a lot better than that… You would be sad if your team gets as clearly dominated by opponents who have been built on 10% of the budget.” – on beating Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League
43. “He must really think I’m a great guy. He must think that, because otherwise He would not have given me so much. I have a great family. I work in a place where I’ve always dreamt of working. He has helped me out so much that He must have a very high opinion of me.” – When asked by the Spanish radio network Cope what he believed God thought about him.
44. “I’m not bothered by the whistles at me. It’s not a problem. It’s the first time it’s ever happened to me. There’s a first time for practically everything. [Zinedine] Zidane was whistled at here. Ronaldo has been whistled at here. Cristiano [Ronaldo], who is the latest Golden Boot winner, has also been whistled at. Why can’t I? Zidane responded with his football, the same as Ronaldo and Cristiano. I work hard to be able to respond like they did some day, but there may come a day when the fans are sad.” – Mourinho warns Madrid fans they don’t know what they’ve got until it’s gone, 23 January 2012.
45. “I think he is one of these people who is a voyeur. He likes to watch other people. There are some guys who, when they are at home, have a big telescope to see what happens in other families. He speaks, speaks, speaks about Chelsea.” – Besmirching Arsene Wenger’s reputation in October 2005, a remark for which Jose later apologised but went on to brand Wenger a “specialist in failure” in 2014
46. I hate to speak about individuals. Players don’t win you trophies, teams win trophies, squads win trophies.
47. “My wife is in Portugal with the dog. The dog is with my wife so the city of London is safe, the big threat is away.” – Mourinho after his Yorkshire Terrier had issues with customs.
48. “I am very happy because the club is beating records with the sales of new shirts. I don’t sell shirts but there a relation between shirt sales and the performance of the team. If we perform well they sell more shirts.”
49. “Look at my haircut. I am ready for the war.” – Mourinho on the symbolism of his closely-cropped haircut
50. “I studied Italian five hours a day for many months to ensure I could communicate with the players, media and fans. Ranieri had been in England for five years and still struggled to say ‘good morning’ and ‘good afternoon.’ He has won a Super Cup, a small cup. He has never won a major trophy. Maybe he needs to change his mindset but he is too old to do it.”- Mourinho reacts to criticism from former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri in 2008.