The “Special One” is now recognized as the best, and says it’s well deserved.
Former Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho, who is now at Real Madrid, said he was the natural choice for soccer’s inaugural prize for world coach of the year yesterday because his team “won absolutely everything” in 2010.
The Portuguese coach, who added the Champions League to a league and cup double with Inter Milan last season, was selected ahead of Spain’s World Cup-winning coach Vicente del Bosque and Barcelona’s Pep Guardiola following a poll of national team managers, captains and selected journalists.
“I feel myself the best of 2010 because in 2010 my team won absolutely everything,” Mourinho said in an interview after receiving the award at a ceremony in Zurich.
Mourinho, 47, who has described himself as the “Special One,” rose to prominence in 2004 after helping underdog Porto win the Champions League. He’s since won two English Premier League championships with Chelsea before moving to Inter, where he claimed another league double and capped a two-year spell by leading it to its first European Cup since 1965. He joined Real in May, and he’s continued a run of 145 home matches since losing that stretches back to 2002.
“I’ve had 10 consecutive great years,” he said. “In 2010, I did with Inter the treble, which is for a club coach the maximum you can achieve,” he said. “But Pep is top, Del Bosque is top and you cannot forget as a top coach we have in the world of football Sir Alex (Ferguson of Manchester United) and (Chelsea’s Carlo) Ancelotti, so many other top coaches that one day this award has to go to them.”
Disputes With Managers
Mourinho isn’t universally liked. During his time with Inter he had disputes with managers, soccer officials and the media. Yet, he’s managed to earn the devotion of some of the best players.
Wesley Sneijder, the Dutch midfielder whose play provided the platform for Inter’s success, brought tears to Mourinho’s eyes yesterday when he praised the coach after being named in FIFA’s team of 2010.
“It was a pleasure to work with Jose Mourinho and I want to tell him this on stage -- I think he’s the best coach in the world,” Sneijder said.
Cristiano Ronaldo, the 2008 world player of the year, who plays under Mourinho at Real, congratulated the coach on social networking site Twitter.
“Congratulations to Mourinho awarded FIFA best coach of the year,” Ronaldo wrote. “He really deserves it and it’s a pleasure to work with him every day.” ‘
To contact the reporter on this story: Tariq Panja in Zurich via the London sports desk on firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at email@example.com