• Pablo Lario

The Special One All-Time Greatest XI

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho has a long way to go with his brand new side, but still, during his spells at Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, and Manchester United, he has coached some of the biggest names in world football to domestic and European success.


That's why we decided to do "The Special One All-Time Greatest XI", because why not?



GK: Petr Cech (Chelsea)


Courtois, Casillas, Júlio César...


So many good and exceptional goalkeepers, but we needed to go with Cech for this one.


The keeper from the Cezch Republic was key for the Chelsea side to have a good defense in the mid-2000s and despite that rugby cap after the incident with Reading's Stephen Hunt, Cech still remained world-class: The Premier League record for fewest appearances required to reach 100 clean sheets, having done so in 180 appearances, the most number of clean sheets in a season (24), as well as the record for the most clean sheets in Premier League history (202). And that's only the beginning.


Clearly, Mourinho could sleep happily every night knowing he had Petr under both posts.


RB: Maicon (Inter)


Here's also difficult to pick as we could have put Branislav Ivanovic or even Ferreira from Mourinho's time at Porto, however, Maicon was something else.


The Brazilian was powerful and decisive, the kind of defender Mo Salah and Messi would have a hard time to go through him (Actually... Messi maybe not). If it wasn't for his late peak in his career, at Rome, and in Manchester United, Maicon could have been remembered by everyone as a legendary world-class right back.


CB: John Terry (Chelsea)


Who would have said that Mourinho and Terry were going to have the best footballistic marriage of all?


For a manager who loves defensive structure and keeping things tight at the back, and a defender with a gigantic head to block footballs from going into the back of the net, it was the best partnership. Undoubtedly, John Terry reached extraordinary levels under the Portuguese tutelage and was pivotal in the Chelsea side that won the Premier League when Jose Mourinho returned, 10 years later.


CB: Ricardo Carvalho (Chelsea, Porto, Real Madrid)


If John Terry and Jose Mourinho were the best partnership, Ricardo Carvalho was basically family for Mourinho.


We talk all the time about how Stones, Van Dijk and Bonucci as being modern defenders, who can bring the ball from the back in a silky way, however, Carvalho did all that way before them. The Portuguese Rolls-Royce was a classy play-making defender and was part of one of the best offenses in Premier League's history.


LB: Ashley Cole (Chelsea)


Cole simply was one of the best left-backs in the history of left-backs. He kept big names like Ronaldo quiet any time Manchester United to West London, he also contributed to the offensive impetus of those historic Chelsea sides, and he even scored a few world-class goals himself.


Mourinho always liked him, saying he was a top left-back, so, without any doubt, the Englishman was going to be in this XI; yes or yes.


CDM: Michael Essien (Chelsea, Real Madrid)


It seems people have forgotten how good Essien was in his prime. He was strong, he could score from nearly any distance (LITERALLY!!!), and... His name was extremely likable and humble, am I right?


Sadly, injuries persisted for him and he made some weird transfers around the globe, including Indonesia and Azerbaijan, however, he's solidity on the midfield was enough for Mourinho to be happy during his time at Chelsea.


CM: Frank Lampard (Chelsea)


Ahead of Essien, Frank Lampard leads the creative side of Mourinho's All-Time XI.


Without Mourinho, who knows if Frank could have turned int the world-class player he became, or just "Fat Frank" as rivals used to call him in his younger stage. Yet, it didn't happen that way... Thank God!! Sorry, my bad... Thank Mourinho!!!


Anyway, Lampard was clearly a driving force for everything Mourinho did good at Chelsea, and who knows if we see the student outclass the teacher in the Premier League anytime soon.


CM: Wesley Sneijder (Inter)


The Dutchman was linked for 20 years to Manchester United, however, Sneijder never stepped a foot on British soil, even if in his prime was pure silk.


Under Mourinho, he won the treble with Inter in 2009/10 season, before joining Turkish side Galatasaray, alongside former Mourinho's pupil Didier Drogba. Sneijder showed the world, and Mourinho, that filling the space between the lines, making that key passes, and even scoring important goals was his middle name.


But he's Dutch, what do you expect?


LW: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)


They obviously didn't like each other all the time, falling out and having arguments, however, Ronaldo always said that the best coach he worked with was not Fergi; it was the man himself, Jose Mourinho.


Ronaldo helped his fellow Portuguese man take the Spanish league title away from Pep and Barcelona, delivering a record of more points and goals scored in a single season, 100 points and 121 goals respectively. Without Mourinho and Ronaldo, Real Madrid wouldn't have achieved that.


RW: Samuel Eto'o (Inter, Chelsea)


Samuel Eto'o is by far one of Africa's greatest players of all-time. He was powerful and quick and at Mourinho's sides he made defenses petrify and the rival midfielders had to question their position at all times. The Cameroonian was incredible present at the front line, and alongside Sneijder, he helped Inter win its historic treble in the 2009/10 season.


An Inter legend and a Mourinho's favorite. And, obviously, down the middle...


ST: Didier Drogba (Chelsea)


We mentioned Drogba earlier, so the Ivorian wasn't missing out on this one.


Drogba was a little bit of a gamble at the time, being quite an expensive signing in the mid-2000s, and he was relatively unproven in the Ligue 1, however, Mourinho's gamble paid off.


Drogba continued scoring goal after goal, as Chelsea achieved their first Premier League title, but also after Mourinho's first departure of the club, he also helped The Blues lift a Champions League, and became a club legend. Drogba left after that but came straight back in 2013, when Mourinho also returned, and both helped Chelsea win another Premier League.


So, what do you guys think? Did we miss any? Let us know on the comments below.

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