Jose Mourinho revealed that his two-and-a-half year wait for a trophy – the longest in his career – felt more like 20 years.
The Capital One Cup, which Mourinho won with Chelsea today, was his first trophy since he won the Spanish Super Cup with Real Madrid in August 2012.
Mourinho left Madrid the following summer, returned to Chelsea and built a new team. Tonight, he said it felt like a very long wait to pick up more silverware.
“I started in 2000, won the Uefa Cup in 2003, the Champions League in 2004,” recalled Mourinho of his early triumphs at Porto, in Portugal. “I didn’t have time to process that. With two seasons without a trophy, it looked like I was 20 years without a trophy. Even to myself. This is a good problem – to have that feeling that two years is a long time. That’s a good feeling.”
This was the 21st trophy of Mourinho’s career – including Super Cups – and he said that, almost 12 years after his first titles, the thrill was the same as when he won so much at Porto at the age of 40.
“For me, it’s important, very important, to feel that I’m a kid,” he said. “Before the game, I had the same feelings as my first final, however many years ago. It’s important to feel the same happiness after the victory, and to feel like a kid at 52 years old.”
The hunger for trophies is as strong as ever for Mourinho and he was delighted to win the first one with this new Chelsea team. For all the improvement at Stamford Bridge over the past 18 months, Mourinho recognises that trophies are the only currency of any serious team.
“I know I have a team to build, but it’s difficult for me to live without titles, even with all the work to be stable that we are doing,” he said. “I need to feed myself with titles. This is important for me and the boys. For the club it’s one more, but it’s the first one of a new team.
“You have Petr Cech, John Terry and Didier Drogba. After that, everybody belongs to a new generation of players.”
One of the new generation – Nemanja Matic – missed the game through suspension but Mourinho revealed that the Serbian midfielder gave the pre-match team talk. “The boy was sad, the other people were sad for him. He made the speech in the dressing room expressing his pain not to be playing, and asking the players to express the pleasure he couldn’t have to play this final.”
In his absence, Kurt Zouma was drafted into a holding midfield role and Mourinho was delighted, comparing him to a legendary Chelsea and France centre-back. “It’s very difficult for a central defender to play there. You have to think quicker in midfield. But our new Marcel Desailly worked hard in the week. The kid did a fantastic job.”
Mauricio Pochettino, the Tottenham manager, was proud of his young players. “For us, it’s one step forward because the team is very young. For many players, it was the first final,” he said.
“Before the game, when we were on the pitch, I asked Harry [Kane] if it was his first time at Wembley and he said yes. But it’s a good experience for our team. We are young and have to improve a lot, but we need to be proud.”Reuse content