Long gone were the days when simply hearing “Real Madrid” would unleash fear within any rival. Long gone were the days where Real Madrid and Champions League were a synonym of success. Long gone was the king of Spain that no rival stood a chance to. Long gone were those days when those 31 Ligas, 17 Copas del Rey, 9 Champions League and 8 Supercopas meant something, or anything.
Jose Mourinho arrived in Real Madrid a magical May 31st of 2010. He became Real Madrid’s 11th coach in 7 years and picked up a team full of knew faces who maybe one or two teammates. A team in which not one member knew what it was like to get the Copa del Rey from King Juan Carlos and celebrate. A team where only Iker knew what it was like to win a Champions League with the white jersey. Heck, only Iker knew what it was like to get past quarterfinals in Champions League with Real Madrid!!!!
Real Madrid 2003-4: 4th place in Liga. Finalist in Copa. Left Champions League in the first knock out stage after losing to Monaco due to the away goal rule.
Real Madrid 2004-5: 2nd place in Liga. Out in the round of 16 in Copa after failing to score more than one goal on humble Valladolid. Out in Round of 16 in Champions after losing to Juventus 1-2.
Real Madrid 2005-6: 2nd in Liga. Semifinalist in Copa after losing to Zaragoza 5-6. Out in Champions in Round of 16 again after losing 0-1 to Arsenal.
Real Madrid 2006-7: La Liga champions. Out in Round of 16 of Champions after losing due to away goals to Bayern. Out in Round of 16 in Copa after losing to Real Betis.
Real Madrid 2007-8: La Liga champions. Out in the first knock out round of Champions after losing 2-4 to Roma. Out in Copa in Round of 16 after losing 2-3 to Mallorca.
Real Madrid 2008-9: Second in Liga. Out in Champions after losing 0-5 to Liverpool in the round of 16. Out in round of 32 after losing to Real Union (who?)
Real Madrid 2009-10: Second place in Liga. Out in Champions after losing 1-2 to Lyon in quarterfinals, shocker. Out in Copa del Rey after losing 4-1 to Alcorcon. Pepe, Raul, Higuain, Albiol, Arbeloa, Van Nistelrooy, Kaka, Guti, Benzema, Granero, Van der vaart and Marcelo were only able to score 1 goal on Alcorcon in 180 minutes. No me jodas.
This is the Real Madrid that Mourinho picked up. No longer head of Champions League group. No longer a threat. Humiliated by a team not in Segunda, but in Segunda B, despite the stars. People say that Mourinho had more money than the rest. I beg to differ. Throughout this mess, Zinedine Zidane, Raul, Roberto Carlos, Figo, Casillas, Michael Owen, Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo, Michel Salgado, Sergio Ramos, Robinho, Baptista, Cassano, Robben, Sneijder, Marcelo, Cannavaro, Van Nistelrooy, Reyes, Saviola, Metzelder, Huntelaar, Van der Vaart. Higuain, Xabi Alonso, Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema were part of these squads. Are these players not enough to get past quarter finals of Champions?
José Mourinho did what it felt like was impossible for Real Madrid. He got through that round of 16 in Champions in his three years as a manager. Real Madrid began to be a threat again. Real Madrid gained back the honor of being the head of group stage in the competition. Three years leaving the Champions with our heads up. Three years of being proud of our colours. Three years of REALLY BELIEVING once again, in La Décima. Three years of waking up knowing that we will not get kicked out without putting up a fight.
José Mourinho fought for Copa del Rey and gave it as much importance as La Liga. That is why, Iker Casillas, despite the many many many years he already had with the institution FINALLY received the medal he never had. Winning the final against no less than the “BEST Barcelona in history”. Against the team that was unbeatable. Against the team that had stolen our status in Europe. Against the team that we wanted down. NOT ONE, humiliating exit. NOT ONE joke of a game. NOT ONE disaster.
José Mourinho wrote his name all over the history of La Liga. All over, Xavi, ALL. OVER. The best La Liga title ever seen. 100 points. 121 goals for. 51 more goals than we scored in 2005 and 2006, 49 more than in 2004, 55 more than in 2007…. and I could keep on going. Evidently the most wins any team has ever recorded in La Liga. The most wins at away. the most points away, the most goals away. The best goal difference in a Liga +89. The first team to score more than 110 goals in one season. Simply the best squad to have ever played in La Liga.
In three years Mourinho had as many of the three major titles as all the other coaches in seven years.
José Mourinho arrived in Madrid with a smile which was demonized by the media and believed by the weak. He was demonized without a reason. From day 1, he was stalked non stop. He was called satan, Hitler and he was compared to many other monsters in history without a real reason but because of the jealousy that the tag of being Special gets attached to. He put up a fight. FOR THE FIRST TIME, Jose Mourinho made us open our eyes. Not just ours but also the institutions’. Mourinho made the club take action upon all these so called journalists who were staining his name. That guy that called Mourinho a “Portuguese Nazi” on air? Yap, paying a 6 000 Euro fine right now. Oh, I forgot. He was hated for being PORTUGUESE. Something never seen before. Mourinho would drop off his kid at football practice and there would be “”””journalists”””” waiting for him, to see what he did and what he didn’t do. The hate transmitted from these men towards Mourinho was such that it lead to a group of PARENTS to stand behind his son’s goal and swear at the 12 year old. What on earth does a 12 year have to do with his father?! When have you ever seen such treatment to a coach?! What was his sin? Why did they lose their minds?!
The truth, is ugly. Everyone claims to want the truth yet no one can handle it. Ask Cristiano, if people could handle the truth he would have a lot more gold in his trophy cabinet.
Mourinho is more than just a statue. He is a man. A father, a husband. Big part of his departure has to do with his wife. She couldn’t handle the living hell they have made their lives in Madrid. After failing to attack him the journalists got involved with his family. Any father’s Achilles heel. Don’t believe any other story.
You know what else Mourinho brought back to Madrid? Canteranos.
Somehow the media led people to believe that in some previous imaginary parallel universe, Real Madrid played with an XI full of canteranos. Never happened, probably never will. Look at the last 3 European Championships won. 1998: Sanchis, Raul, Cañizares, Sanz and Jaime were canteranos part of the squad (Morientes arrived at age 21). 2000: Casillas, Raul & Sanchis. 2002: Raul, Casillas, Pavon & Guti.
Jose Mourinho made more canteranos debut than any coaches in the past years. Nacho and Morata got continuity. Jose Rodriguez became the youngest player in Real Madrid’s history to debut in all three tournaments. It doesn’t even end there, look at Mourinho’s signings: Callejon and Diego Lopez. Current canteranos in Real Madrid who play or have played a decent amount of hours this season: Adan, Casillas, Diego Lopez, Callejon, Arbeloa, Morata, Nacho. That’s seven. Not to mention the work he is doing with Jose Rodriguez and Diego Llorente. Well was, because he won’t be there anymore.
It is too easy to sit back and read what the press wants to feed you and not critically think about it. It is harder to sit back for a few hours and put together a piece that will tell you why we are making yet another managerial mistake.
Mourinho has taught me to be honest no matter what and to never stop believing. To stay true to yourself and to not be out there to please people, but to look for the best for your party. How many other coaches would have benched Casillas to play Diego Lopez even despite all the hell that broke on him for that decision? Now I am sure Diego will look for another team to save but I thank him too for allowing us to believe in La Decima this year and I am glad to have seen him fulfill his dreams under the three posts of Real Madrid, screaming every goal like if it was the last and suffering after conceding every single one, like if it meant the game.
I will miss the remountadas and those amazing speedy come backs that made Real Madrid return to the cover of all newspapers. I thank him for the 9 months that have passed without losing to Barcelona. I thank him for putting us back up again. I hope one day, I can meet him and shake his hand and thank him for everything he did because I am sure he has no idea the magnitude of his actions. I just hope that now, whoever takes over, continues this amazing project that has us all believing… that has us so fucking close, to La Decima.
May the future bring you nothing but happiness in your new home and peace to your family. You will be forever in my heart, Jose Mourinho.