Mourinho: I'm one of the best coaches in the world

Last updated at 16:08 17 December 2004

In a fascinating and revealing interview that first appeared in a Portuguese newspaper, Jose Mourinho opens up for the first time on a variety of subjects.

INTERVIEWER: Do you consider yourself the best coach in the world?

Jose Mourinho: No.

So where are you?

I consider myself one of the best.

Who are the others?

The ones who win as many things as me. There's nobody who has won as much in two consecutive years but there are winning coaches in Italy.


He's won a lot of things. He hasn't won for a long time, but he's won.

>What's your routine in London? Do you drive, for example?

I drive because I have to, but I don't like it.

Do you mix with the Portuguese community?

We are the Portuguese community. With myself and my assistants we are five, with five partners we're 10, with my children and that of Silvino we're 13. We're a little group and we meet at the house of one or the other, or we eat out.

Are you the best paid coach in the world?

I don't know, it doesn't interest me. I know I'm well paid and I'm happy with what I get.

Did you ever dream you would earn what you earn today?

I never dreamed of earning anything. Only of having a peaceful and balanced life.

Has money changed everything in your life?

It's better to have it than not to have it. I have a good house and everything which can make a family happier - good holidays, good clothes, the children in good schools. I don't have the basic problems that many families have. But I also don't go in for extravagances. I'm not one for big luxuries. It's obvious that as I can have an expensive car, I have one but I don't make a collection. When I buy one I sell the other. I don't have a taste for having 10 cars.

When you left Benfica you wrote the 'bible', a manual with the secret of how to become a great coach.

I wrote it because I had time.

You've never divulged it publicly, but at Porto everyone has it.

No, that's not the bible. It's what I do for clubs, a book, a document which explains my way of thinking about a club. It's my guide for the club, in technical, tactical terms, for youngsters to know how I work, think, what I extol, what I want from the club.

What I call the bible, but which could be called the diary of training and playing, is mine, very much mine, and when I arrive home after a game I write in it. It's my way of thinking about training, the match, of reflecting on the training exercises, to do things that will help them evolve.

Will you ever publish the bible?

No, I won't. I'll give it to my son, if he opts for this profession. And I hope he doesn't. If he doesn't opt for this profession I'll make a copy and give one to my son and another to my daughter.

Do you think there will exist a football generation which will bear your mark?

I believe that the youngsters will be able to understand deeply what I am and what I think. It will be the youngest who will be able, with intelligence, to seize things from me like in a school, a support for them to think for themselves, a starting point and not a finishing line. If that weren't the case today I'd be coaching the Robson or Van Gaal way and I don't coach the way they coached.

Tell us about your childhood

It was such a normal and happy childhood that, in fact, I don't have great episodes which stand out in a special way. Honestly. I was a normal kid in a normal, happy and united family. I always had access to what I needed. I was never deprived of anything which I liked and wanted.

The access to the sports side, which made me passionate and motivated me, was created from the first few days of my life, when I started going to football pitches, training, games, dressing rooms, trips, training trips, the joys and woes of football.

Among your friends were any leadership tendencies noted?

No, I honestly don't think so. It was never a thing that motivated me, being the head of my group of friends. At the same time I always imposed myself enough for them to let me be in my corner with my tastes and desires because I didn't allow them to lead me.

Basically, I think I wasn't a leader but also I wasn't led, subordinated. I very much followed my own nose, I knew exactly what I wanted. I knew perfectly well what my motivations were.

What did you want at that time?

I wanted to be a footballer, as long as there was no collision with school interests. I was always conscientious in that respect. If I wasn't at school, I would be playing with the ball, playing football or watching my father training.

When you realised that you would never be a top player didn't you feel frustrated?

No. I always grew up with things very clear. Football is only worth it for some.

You became a teacher quickly.

When I was 25. I earned more from giving classes than from playing football at lower levels. My life was on a solid, peaceful, stable path.

How long have you known your wife?

We've been together since she was 15 and I 17.

The stable couple.

Exactly. It was all very peaceful. We went to live in Setubal, which is a town we adore and where her family and my family are.

So you didn't plan to become a coach?

I wanted to become one but didn't think that life, in professional terms, would allow me to follow the path I've taken. In fact, when I stopped giving classes and became a professional coach, I got an invitation from Manuel Fernandes, who was Setubal's first team coach, and he invited me to be his assistant. I was junior coach one year, youth coach the next and then I was to coach the seniors.

Did you miss any stages?

No. When I arrived in Porto as assistant, I was ready for it. The experience then prepared me for becoming assistant at Barcelona; when I came to Portugal as head coach, Barcelona prepared me for it and being a coach in Portugal prepared me for England.

You're a very rational person. You finish a stage of your career and don't look back.

No. The day I'm sacked and have to leave a club and a city I won't cry or say bad things or make excuses or seek scapegoats. In the same way, if I leave of my own volition I also won't stop and think 'why am I going if everything has gone well for me here? It could go badly there.' Decisions are thought through. Sometimes we have to take them and life goes on.

Now I am at a club which has not won anything in five years and I feel the club needs an agitator to get it out of its state of inertia, a catalyst for positive emotions, someone who can develop growth and self esteem, so I have to go for a certain type of behaviour and attitude.

What were the saddest moments of your sporting career?

The time after Benfica was difficult. I had never been unemployed. I didn't work from December until June. The start at Porto, in the first season, was also difficult.

Do you always try to create empathy with the players you have?

You have to.

And if you don't manage it?

Until now I've managed to create empathy with all of them. Those with whom you don't create are those with whom the relationship does not last long. The January transfer market comes and he leaves, the end of the season comes and he leaves.