In the wake of his latest verbal assault on a rival coach, Goal celebrates the numerous confrontations that have defined the Portuguese coach's careerBy Ben Hayward | Spanish Football Writer
Jose Mourinho hit the headlines again on Friday with an outburst aimed at Arsene Wenger, who the Chelsea boss claimed to be a serial loser. It was the latest incident in a spiky rivalry between the pair dating back nearly a decade, but the Frenchman is by no means the only victim of the Portuguese coach's acid tongue.
From Porto to Inter to Madrid, the outspoken 51-year-old has a long history of colourful feuds, with his tenure in Spain notably ending with a divided dressing room and mixed feelings about his reign at the Santiago Bernabeu.
With all of that in mind, Goal looks back at some of the major confrontations throughout Mourinho's top-level coaching career, an A to Z of his greatest controversies over the last decade ...
A is for ambulances: When Petr Cech suffered a severe head injury after clattering into another player at Reading, Mourinho pointed the finger at the ambulance service and claimed that their slow reaction could have proved fatal for his goalkeeper. "Thirty minutes in the dressing room, waiting for an ambulance ... If my goalkeeper dies in that dressing room, it is something English football has to think about," the Portuguese raged. The reality, however, was rather different: the ambulance arrived after seven minutes and within 19, Cech was already in hospital.
B is for Benitez: Mourinho and Rafa Benitez have never seen eye to eye and their rivalry was not restricted only to the pitch during the Portuguese's time at Chelsea and the Spaniard's spell at Liverpool, when the Reds beat the Blues in two Champions League semi-finals. Later, Benitez replaced Mourinho at Inter and the Portuguese poured scorn on his rival's triumph in the Club World Cup as he took the credit for the trophy. "I thought he was going to thank me for the title I gave him," Mourinho said. "Inter fans would tell you how they really feel about it."
C is for the Camp Nou car park: Furious at several decisions by referee Jose Antonio Teixeira Vitienes in Madrid's Copa del Rey quarter-final second-leg clash at Camp Nou in January 2012, Mourinho waited for the official in the car park following his side's elimination and directed abuse at the Cantabrian. "Now you will go and have a cigar and you will laugh, artist!" he is reported to have told the official. The Portuguese had earlier appealed for three penalties, believed Lionel Messi should have been dismissed for a second bookable offence and was unhappy at Sergio Ramos' red card. In the press room he said: "I won't speak about the referee, but what I have heard in the dressing room is that it is impossible to win here."
|THE SPANISH ONE - BENITEZ
E is for EPL: Mourinho met Arsenal's Ashley Cole without permission to discuss a transfer to Chelsea and, following an inquiry, the English Premier League fined the Portuguese €245,000 for tapping up the player. The punishment was later reduced to €92,000.
F is for Frisk: Popular referee Anders Frisk was forced to retire from the game after he was wrongly accused by Mourinho of inviting then Barcelona boss Frank Rijkaard to his room at half-time in a Champions League last-16 clash at Camp Nou. Rijkaard remonstrated with the official at the break but the Dutchman was not allowed to follow the official into his room. Mourinho, however, claimed otherwise and blamed the invented incident for the second-half dismissal of Didier Drogba as Chelsea lost 2-1. The Swede later received death threats from Blues supporters and was forced out of the game altogether. Uefa referees' chief Volker Roth later labelled Mourinho 'the enemy of football' for the Frisk fiasco.
G is for Guardiola: Mourinho was assistant coach at Barcelona when Pep Guardiola was club captain and the pair were close, but there was no love lost between them as they went head to head for two seasons in Spain. The Portuguese mocked the Catalan following the Copa del Rey final in 2011 after Guardiola had lamented a close offside call that saw a Pedro strike ruled out. "There is now a new group of which only he is a member, which criticises referees' correct decisions." Guardiola responded with a rant of his own before Barca and Madrid met in the Champions League and after the Catalans came out on top, Mourinho attacked his former friend once again. "He knows how he has won the Champions League twice," he said, bemoaning what he called 'The Scandal of Stamford Bridge' - when Pep's 2009 side survived to beat the Blues as several decisions went in their favour.
H is for handcuffs: Mourinho received a three-game touchline ban and a €4,000 fine following a "handcuffs" gesture during Inter's game against Genoa in February, 2010. The Portuguese protested as Walter Samuel and Ivan Cordoba were sent off, and made the gesture (in front of the television cameras, for maximum effect) as Samuel Eto'o was booked, alluding to victimisation from the officials.
I is for Iker: Not long into his reign as Madrid coach, Mourinho claimed captain Iker Casillas was the best goalkeeper in the world. But relations with the Spain shot-stopper proved prickly from the outset and the Portuguese benched his skipper in December 2012. Later, when Iker was injured, he signed Diego Lopez and kept the new man in the side for the remainder of the campaign, not even calling Casillas up for the last match of the season.
|BENCHED - CAPTAIN CASILLAS
K is for Klopp: Ahead of Madrid's Champions League semi-final tie against Borussia Dortmund in April of last year, Mourinho hit out at BVB boss Jurgen Klopp. "Klopp talks to much," he said. "Since the draw, he has spoken every day."
L is for laundry baskets: Mourinho clambered into a laundry basket in a Champions League quarter-final tie against Bayern Munich in order to beat a ban and deliver his pre-match and half-time team talks. The coach was wheeled in and out of the dressing room without Uefa's knowledge despite being barred from contact with his players in both legs. Chelsea later denied the claims.
M is for Muntari: Mourinho caused controversy in the Islamic world by questioning Sulley Muntari's decision to fast during Ramadan. After substituting the Ghanaian during Inter's draw with Bari in 2009, the Portuguese said: "Muntari had some problems related to Ramadan, perhaps with this heat it's not good for him to be doing this [fasting]. Ramadan has not arrived at the ideal moment for a player to play a football match." The comments drew strong criticism from prominent Islamic figures in Italy.
N is for nationality: Mourinho has blamed what he considered to be poor treatment in Madrid on a very Iberian issue. "It is difficult to be a Portuguese in Spain," he claimed in 2013. The 50-year-old also told the media in 2012 that he would sign no more Portuguese players for Madrid after seeing Fabio Coentrao suffer in the Spanish capital. "The Portuguese have a tough life at Real Madrid," he explained. "I wouldn't bring any more Portuguese players here - they have to have a special mentality to resist a situation which is not easy for them."
|WHO IS LO MONACO?
P is for Pepe: When Pepe defended benched club captain Casillas after a Liga clash against Valladolid in April of last year, Mourinho turned on his once trusted defender. "Pepe has a problem - and his name is Raphael Varane," the coach claimed, alluding to the 20-year-old defender who had displaced the Portugal centre-back in the team.
Q is for Queiroz: "Portugal have no chance of winning the World Cup, even if Cristiano Ronaldo plays at 1,000 per cent," Mourinho said of the side coached by Carlos Queiroz in 2010. "What Mourinho says makes us think deeply," responded Queiroz, who was said to be furious by his compatriot's remarks. But his team was unable to respond on the pitch and Cristiano Ronaldo was nowhere near 100 per cent in a sterile side, let alone 1,000%.
R is for Ronaldo: During his time at Chelsea, Mourinho was embroiled in a war of words with Ronaldo after claiming Manchester United often found favour with referees. Ronaldo responded by calling Mourinho a sore loser, but the coach hit back by saying: "He doesn't show maturity and respect. Maybe a difficult childhood, no education, maybe [it is] the consequence of that."
|THE PORTUGUESE POKES TITO
T is for Tito: Perhaps his lowest blow: Mourinho poked then Barca assistant coach Tito Vilanova in the eye following a melee at the end of Madrid's Spanish Supercopa defeat to the Catalans in August of 2011 and later stunned the media as he said: "Who is Pito Vilanova? I don't know who Pito Vilanova is ..."
U is for Uefa and Unicef: During his most memorable press-room rant in Spain, Mourinho accused Barcelona of receiving favours from Uefa and also questioned the Catalan club's working relationship with charity Unicef as he reeled off a long list of conspiracy theories.
V is for Valdano: Mourinho and Madrid's then director general Jorge Valdano were all smiles as the Portuguese was unveiled in the summer of 2010, but a power struggle ensued and the coach publicly hit out at the Argentine for failing to defend his side's interests. "[He] should be defending the team," Mourinho said in December of 2010. "The club has a structure but it's not working - I want a meeting with the president." And, in the summer, Valdano was gone.
W is for Wenger: In 2005, after Wenger made comments on Chelsea's 1-1 draw with Everton and the Blues' League Cup defeat against Charlton, Mourinho infamously labelled the Frenchman a "voyeur". "I think he is one of these people who is a voyeur," said the Portuguese coach. "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. He should be worried about them [Arsenal]. He's worried about us, he's always talking about us. It's Chelsea, Chelsea, Chelsea, Chelsea." Wenger had merely claimed the Blues' dip in form had given the club's rivals "a little bit of hope" in the title race. The Frenchman has now been labelled a "specialist" in failure by Mourinho, in response to Wenger's claim that the Portuguese's refusal to admit that Chelsea are title contenders was down to a "fear to fail".
|AS SEEN ON GOOGLE - ZEMAN
Y is for Yorkshire terrier: Mourinho was arrested and cautioned after allegedly refusing to allow police to quarantine his pet dog - a Yorkshire terrier - in 2007. The Portuguese received a call from his wife telling him police were at their home in London, rushed home in a taxi from an award ceremony and grabbed the animal from a health official.
Z is for Zeman: When former Roma and Lazio coach Zdenek Zeman claimed that Mourinho was a "mediocre" tactician, the Portuguese hit back with some strong words. "I am a mediocre coach? Okay! I respect every opinion," Mourinho stated. "Zeman? I do not know him. Where does he play? He is a coach? Sorry, I did not know that. Now that I am on holiday I will look him up on Google to find out who he is and what he has won."
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