Jose Mourinho's five magic Real Madrid moments

As Jose Mourinho prepares to leave Real Madrid, Pete Jenson recounts the crazy moments that can only belong to 'The Special One'

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The Independent Football


Mourinho had only been in the job two months when he asked for 10 days off to go and coach Portugal’s national team. The Portuguese FA made the request after sacking Carlos Quieroz and sent a delegation to Madrid in the hope that the club could be persuaded to release their manager for European Championship qualifiers against Denmark and Iceland. When permission was refused Mourinho complained: “I can’t understand it. They want me to stay here for 10 days coaching the three players left who are not on international duty.”


Before his presentation press conference in 2010 Mourinho had the club’s Sporting Director Jorge Valdano give a groveling apology for once referring to football served up by Mourinho’s Chelsea as “Shit on a stick”. Valdano said. “‘I once spoke of Jose in an aggressive manner. Jose answered me in the same aggressive manner but we sorted it out three years ago when we did not know we would ever be working together.” Mourinho eventually stopped Valdano travelling on official flights with the team and coming into the dressing room after games. He was sacked in 2011; conspiracy theorist see his prints all over a succession of dressing room leaks that persisted after his departure.


He picked up a one match touchline ban after choreographing the most elaborate case of deliberate bookings in Champions League history. Winning a group match against Ajax 4-0 in 2010 he saw the opportunity for Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso to pick up yellow cards and so miss the final group match. He whispered in reserve goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek’s ear, sending him scuttling around the perimeter of the pitch to speak to Iker Casillas who in turn told Ramos. There was another Uefa ban in 2011 when he insinuated that Barcelona were favoured by referees because of their Unicef sponsorship after a Champions League semi-final exit against them.


“You wouldn’t know because you never played the game” was Ramos retort to Mourinho when he rollicked him in one training session for changing pre-arranged marking responsibilities at a corner. In the same exchange when Mourinho was overheard complaining about how the Spanish internationals were protected by the Madrid press Casillas shouted: “We say things to people’s faces here boss”. The row appeared verbatim on Marca’s front page. Later in the season Casillas was dropped and eventually replaced by January signing Diego Lopez. Asked if he had any regrets, Mourinho said: "I should have signed another keeper sooner".


Pepe stuck the knife in to his long-time protector saying: “Mourinho should have showed more respect to Casillas”. That ensured he watched the Cup Final from the stands although once his manager had stormed off down the tunnel after being sent off, Pepe snuck down on to the bench to watch the rest of the match. Mourinho saved his most prestigious snub to last by not reemerging to collect his medal from the King of Spain. “Should I just give it to this guy?” his highness asked the head of the Spanish FA as Mourinho’s assistant Aitor Karanka came up for the medal.