Has there ever been another manager in the history of the game who has had more to say than the self-styled "Special One?"
The 50-year-old Portuguese Man of War is pure box-office entertainment both on and off the pitch, and at no other moment more so than when his lips start moving; although, like everything that Jose Mourinho does in football, each word that comes out of his mouth is carefully picked so as to hit an intended target.
The only surprising thing about the Real Madrid head coach is that he does not have a first-class degree in psychology so brilliantly does he use the media. In addition, he uses his press conferences to his own effect, whether that be to send out a coded message to his own watching players after a match, or perhaps to an opposing manager just prior to a fixture.
And, with the Portuguese currently enduring a particularly combustible season at the Santiago Bernabeu, even compared to what has gone on at his previous clubs, we at the Bleacher Report take a look at Mourinho’s most eye-catching quotes from this campaign.
“Like me or not, I am the only one who has won the world’s three most important leagues. So, maybe instead of the ‘Special One’, people should start calling me the ‘Only One’ (via ESPN)."
Kicking off the new Liga season in typically modest fashion, Mourinho took a leaf out of his now infamous debut press conference as Chelsea coach in the summer of 2004 when he called himself the "Special One." However, now he wanted to be known as the "Only One" in recognition of his accomplishment of having become the only manager in the history of the game to have won league titles in Spain, England and Italy.
Now that does not sound like Mourinho at all, does it?
Nov. 27, 2012 following 1-0 loss at Real Betis: "At Madrid, I'm the only one who complains about things in public but then it's me who's the bad guy all the time."
Nov, 29, 2012: "I don't want anyone else to speak out for the team. The club rules here and I'm just an employee. It's the club which has to decide whether it's happy with me. It's possible that at the end of the season the club isn't happy with my work and it feels that there are things to improve and to change (via ESPN)."
The ever-changing face, or messages more like, of the chameleon that is Mourinho was best demonstrated last November following yet another defeat on the road for Madrid—this time at Betis.
Immediately after the loss in Seville, the Portuguese suggested that there was a fixture-list conspiracy to ensure that Barcelona would regain their title from Madrid this season, before bemoaning the fact that it was only him at Real who defended the club by speaking out on such matters.
However, two days later the Portuguese had performed a dramatic U-turn, this time delivering a new message via the media.
Just another complex, and at times confusing, day in the life of the "Special One."
“City are a team that could win this competition.
It’s normal if a big team does not win it because there are other teams with the same power and desire and responsibilities and only one can win.
But it’s not normal when you are out at the early stage.
If Real loses the final, a semi or a quarter-final, that’s football. But when you are out at the group stage it’s hard to accept and understand.
Last season they went out at this stage and I think this season they will be out too. They can win against us and in Dortmund but it’s not enough, so I think they are out early for a second successive time. That must be difficult for them (via the Sun)."
Yet another typically provocative presser from Mourinho, this time aiming his pre-match hand grenades at his Manchester City counterpart Roberto Mancini, a man he has never previously needed any encouragement to wind up.
On this occasion, he informed the Italian and the watching world that not only would City fail to qualify from their Champions League group, but that such an outcome would “hard to accept and understand.”
Bang, and mission accomplished as his intended target at the Etihad is struck. Beautifully simple, but highly effective as Madrid go on to eliminate City following a 1-1 draw at the Etihad.
“It is good that it is City eliminated because Roberto can work without any problems, because if it was Madrid the press would not let me return to Madrid!
When you look at the array of players they have it is amazing that they have been eliminated at the group stage for two years running. They had thousands of attacking options – limitless options – and we had just 10 men [tonight] but we held on (via the Independent)."
And, after Madrid had eliminated City from this season’s Champions League following a 1-1 draw at Eastlands, Mourinho had yet another dig at his old foe Mancini by suggesting he would have been sacked had he presided over two failed Champions League campaigns in a row, like the Italian had at Eastlands.
Again, his post-match barb was entirely truthful, if a little petty and unnecessary …
"I made two changes at half-time, but I could have made seven. Right now I don't have a team (via the Guardian)."
Mourinho was in a prickly mood following Madrid’s surprise 1-0 loss at Sevilla back in September, a result that left his side a massive eight points behind leaders and archrivals Barcelona after only five weeks of the new season.
Real’s coach had hooked both his creative wide men at the break in that contest, Angel di Maria and Mesut Ozil, and while there was nothing particularly new in him using that type of shock tactic, there was most definitely something more sinister about his post-match words in which he implied some of his players were simply not concentrating enough on football.
Unfortunately for Jose, that message went over like a lead balloon with his team, who have been sulking and rebelling against him ever since, with disastrous consequences in terms of the club’s on-field results.
"If they whistle me for leaving Iker [Casillas] on the bench, fine, and if they whistle me for poor performances, that's okay by me. I don't want to be a hero all the time, independent of my performances.
The fans and the media don't have a problem with [Antonio] Adan, they have a problem with me for my decision, but Adan suffers for this pressure.
I think it shows a lack of respect towards Adan. He has been at Madrid 16 years, he came through the youth ranks and he has the right to be happy. You (the media) have turned a problem with Mourinho into a lack of respect towards Adan (via Reuters)."
Back at the turn of this year, Mourinho decided to go on the offensive, and on this occasion it was his own supporters who were his intended target after the Portuguese appeared to have bitten off more than he could chew by dropping Madrid captain and legend Iker Casillas.
Before kickoff at the Santiago Bernabeu against Real Sociedad, the home supporters loudly cheered when St. Iker’s name was read out over the public address system. However, when it came to Mourinho’s name being announced, he was roundly booed by his own fans.
And, after Madrid’s 4-3 win, Mourinho railed against all and sundry in the post-match press conference, somehow turning the dropping of a Real and Spain legend into a debate about respect for reserve-team keeper Antonio Adan.
Classic Mourinho at his wily best.
"Jose Rodríguez, who you like so much, doesn't get a game for Castilla, while others do despite being 24-years-old. It's really sad.
There are players at Castilla who play in positions which don't exist in the first team. He [Toril] has his autonomy. He must decide whether it's more important to finish fourth, fifth or six in Segunda, or to help the progression of players to the first team.
To draw a line under the subject: Sanchis and Raul were there for the final in Amsterdam; Raul and Casillas played in Paris, and only one home-grown player started in Glasgow: Raul again (via Goal)."
Last November, it was the turn of Castilla coach Alberto Toril to feel the Portuguese’s wrath, on this occasion because the reserve-team manager had not been aiding the Madrid first team by giving key youngsters, such as 17-year-old midfield player Jose Rodriguez, enough game time.
And, to emphasise his point, Mourinho went on to highlight the lack of home-grown Spanish players to have featured in Los Blancos’ most recent Champions League triumphs.
"I try to be fair and objective and I don't reach for excuses when my team loses. It's obvious that if you play on Wednesday, you shouldn't play on Saturday. It's obvious that other teams have more control over the fixtures than we do, but we are talking about top professionals and they showed a lack of mental strength, ambition and spirit of sacrifice.
When I see [Radek] Stepanek, at the age of 34, playing three Davis Cup final matches and dying to win for his country, I think that players who are 23 or 24 should be able to play two games in four days. Since it's always me doing the talking and I'm the only one who speaks out, then I'm made out to be bad guy (via Marca)."
Madrid’s shock 1-0 loss at Real Betis in La Liga back in November produced an extraordinary post-match rant, even by the "Special One’s" normally volcanic standards.
Pretty much anyone and everyone were blamed by Mourinho for this defeat, including his own players, the administrators in charge of the fixture list, the referee and his own club for not giving him a spokesman!
However, it was the Madrid coach’s delicious, cutting analogy with veteran Czech Republic tennis player Radek Stepanek that will live long in the memory, especially for those Real players it was aimed at.
"If, like me, you have been here for two and a half years, you are used to the 'cold' atmosphere [at the Bernabeu] (via Goal)."
Back in November, following yet another unconvincing display, this time in a 2-2 draw with Borussia Dortmund at the Santiago Bernabeu in the Champions League, Mourinho decided it was the club’s non-vocal supporters who were at fault for the team’s lacklustre performance.
Of course, according to "Mou," the lack of atmosphere in one of world football’s great amphitheatre’s was absolutely no surprise to him, as it had been like that in the Spanish capital from the very day he had arrived!
"After Real. I love everything [about the Premier League].
Normally it will be my next step (via the BBC)."
Just prior to Madrid’s biggest match of their entire season to date against Manchester United in the Champions League last 16, Mourinho used his pre-match press conference, which just so happened to be heaving with English journalists in the Spanish capital covering the first-leg tie, to send out a message to the watching world.
And, that message was pretty clear; or was it?
In typical "Mou" style, his words could be seen to be directed at several different targets, including on this occasion the local Spanish press pack, as well as any prospective wealthy club owners who may have been on the lookout for a new head coach next season.
However, his clever use of the word “normally” covered the "Special One" from any possible future embarrassment should he fail to land his dream job in the Premier League.