Jose Mourinho's 20 Best Sound Bites in English Football
Jose Mourinho is mind games incarnate.
He admitted as much ahead of the weekend’s Premier League match against Newcastle—a 3-0 win for his Chelsea side—when he said, as per The Independent, “Everything I say and do are mind games. The only thing that is not mind games is the result.”
Whether winding up an opponent, downplaying his own chances at success or simply dropping a memorable one-liner, Mourinho has been on top form since his return to Stamford Bridge in June.
Following are 20 of his best verbal clips from his time in English football.
20. Defending Football
He much have watched Norwich City’s 0-0 draw at home to title rivals Manchester City on Saturday, because on Monday Jose Mourinho told reporters he hoped City midfielder Yaya Toure would find himself banned for a kick on Norwich striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel:
If he is not suspended the message is clear: you can do what you want. If the FA defends football he has to be suspended.
19. Cheating Messi
Chelsea and Barcelona did battle on several occasions during Mourinho’s first spell on Chelsea, and after seeing what he felt was a Lionel Messi dive following a challenge from Blues left-back Asier Del Horno, he had a question for reporters: “How do you say cheating in Catalan?”
18. Winding Up City
Manchester City have been in Mourinho’s crosshairs this month, and at a press conference ahead of last Monday’s meeting at Etihad Stadium the 51-year-old downplayed their recent accomplishments:
They won the title, won a couple of cups...Speaking objectively, they did very bad in the Champions League in previous seasons, also in the Europa League.
On his new, shorter style of haircut, the Special One told reporters:
I decided to do it. I got Fernando [Torres] to give me his machine and I did it myself in front of the mirror. It’s nice, and cheap.
16. He Who Shall Not Be Named
On his ability, or lack thereof, to work miracles at Stamford Bridge, he told reporters:
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.
15. The Special Clooney
On the actor who would play him in a film, Mourinho told reporters:
If they made a film of my life, I think they should get George Clooney to play me. He’s a fantastic actor and my wife thinks he would be ideal.
14. Parking the Bus
Mourinho has coined a few phrases in his time at Chelsea, but “parking the bus” is almost certainly among his most-repeated—at least by other managers. He said at a press conference:
As we say in Portugal, they brought the bus and they left the bus in front of the goal. I would have been frustrated if I had been a supporter who paid £50 to watch this game because Spurs came to defend.
13. Pretty Boy
Mourinho typically had good things to say about Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson during the Scot’s time in management. The two would often share a glass of wine after matches and talk about their sparring with the press.
During his first season at Chelsea, the Portuguese shed some light to reporters on his first conversation with Ferguson:
We were together in my office. He asked me, ‘What did you say to the press, young man?’ We laughed, we joked, we spoke, we drank and when we go to Old Trafford for the second leg on January 26 it is my birthday. I will bring a beautiful bottle of Portuguese win for after the game. The wine we drank at Stamford Bridge was very bad. And he was complaining about it. He is a wonderful, great manager. I have a lot of respect for the big man. I call him ‘boss’ because he’s our (the other managers’) boss. He’s the top man, a really nice person and he deserves to be the boss. Maybe when I am 60 the kids will call me the same.
12. God and Me
On taking challenging jobs in club football, he said at a press conference:
If I wanted to have an easy job I would have stayed at Porto. Beautiful blue chair, the UEFA Champions League trophy, God, and after God, me.
11. Fast Cars
The transfer kitty made available to Mourinho during his first few summers at Stamford Bridge helped him assemble one of the strongest squads in Premier League history. But when someone asked him about his rotation policy, he had this to say to reporters:
Why drive Aston Martin all the time when I have Ferrari and Porsche as well? That would just be stupid.
10. Feeling Queasy
Mourinho has never been one to let the pressure of managing Chelsea get to him, as he said this at a press conference:
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?
9. Padded Room
Ricardo Carvalho once had the nerve to question why Mourinho had benched him. At a press conference, the reply was scathing:
Ricardo Carvalho seems to have problems understanding things. Maybe he should have an IQ test, or go to a mental hospital or something.
8. Angels and Demons
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 are so beautiful that they should be viewed as angels.
7. Beauty or Brains?
This one comes courtesy of a press conference from another Chelsea-Barcelona match, before which the Barcelona players had criticized the state of the Stamford Bridge pitch.
Sometimes you see beautiful people with no brains. Sometimes you have ugly people who are intelligent, like scientists.
6. Raising the Pony
Even after beating City on Monday, Mourinho has continued to downplay Chelsea’s title chances this season, going so far as to compare his club to a pony still finding its legs.
“Two horses and a little horse that still needs milk and to learn how to jump” is how he described City, Arsenal and his own set of players at a press conference. “A horse that next season can race.”
5. Keeping Warm
At one point or another, every club manager has addressed an injury crisis, but when speaking to reporters about his own lack of options at Chelsea during his first stint at the club, Mourinho compared the fitness concerns to a blanket too small for its bed:
It’s 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 because the supermarket is closed. But the blanket is made of cashmere.
4. I Spy
Mourinho has always believed Arsene Wenger has an obsession with Chelsea, and after listening to the Arsenal manager’s remarks in the press he decided to nickname his counterpart:
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.
3. Ripening in the Garden
One of Mourinho’s oddest parables involves young, up-and-coming footballers and melons, when he told reporters:
Young players are a 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.
2. Making Omelettes
Mourinho’s Stamford Bridge exit in 2007 closely followed a bizarre speech about eggs and omelettes. It was a dig at club owner Roman Abramovich and a changing transfer policy, and in picking a fight with the Russian, the Special One got a ticket out of town. He told reporters:
No eggs, no omelette. And it depends on the quality of the eggs. In the supermarket you have eggs class one, class two, class three. Some are more expensive than other and give you better omelettes. So when the class one eggs are in Waitrose and you cannot go there, you have a problem.
1. The Special One
It’s not often that one can give himself a nickname and have it stick. But that’s exactly what happened during Mourinho’s Chelsea presentation in 2004, during which he described himself to the reporters present in the above video:
Please don’t call me arrogant, but I’m European champion and I think I’m a special one.