Atletico Madrid Is the Chance for Mourinho to End His Chelsea Hoodoo in UCL

Garry HayesFeatured ColumnistApril 21, 2014


The location had changed, but the tone and mood remained. Jose Mourinho was as defiant as ever.

The Chelsea manager sat before the press at the Vicente Calderon Stadium—his first encounter with the media since Saturday's infamous two-minute, 20-second press conference that followed his surprising 2-1 defeat to Sunderland—talking about Atletico Madrid and Champions League semi-finals.

"I have no unfinished business [at Chelsea], I did my best, always do my best, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose," he said at the press conference when asked about his European record with the Blues (via ESPN).

Reaching the semi-final this year has equaled his best performance in the Champions League as Chelsea boss—a stage where he twice lost to Liverpool in 2005 and 2007.

Mourinho continued:

Sometimes you win and you deserve, sometimes you win and you don’t deserve. Sometimes you lose when you deserve to lose, sometimes you lose and you don’t deserve to lose.

With Chelsea in semis we lost on penalties, as Liverpool scored one more than us. In the other semi we lost with a goal which was not a goal, but that is part of football.

MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 21:  Head coach Jose Mourinho (R) of Chelsea FC shakes hands with player David Luiz (L) after his press conference the day before the UEFA Champions League Semifinal first leg match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Chelsea FC at V
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Mourinho has lifted the famous trophy twice with Porto and Inter Milan, yet he isn't fooling anyone when he says those defeats as Chelsea manager do not rankle him.

Chelsea were arguably a better team during his first spell in charge than they are now. For a manager of his ilk, Mourinho knows he missed out on a big opportunity to make history at Stamford Bridge.

Of all the reasons he returned to west London last summer, the desire to put right the wrongs of the past was no doubt a significant lure.

Now he has his chance. He's one step away.

The opposition may be from a different league and country this time out, but make no mistake, Mourinho will be drawing upon 2005 and 2007 for his inspiration to defeat Atletico.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 3:  Luis Garcia of Liverpool scores the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield on May 3, 2005 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty I
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

It's moments like this that he lives for.

The Chelsea manager's desire to write his name into history is incomparable to that of his peers. He craves success like no other, and significant moments like this remind us all of what he is capable of.

Those clashes with Liverpool were epic. The quality of football may have been inconsistent—a casualty of the huge occasion—but in terms of drama and controversy, those matches stand apart as modern classics when we consider everything the Champions League brings.

That Chelsea for whatever reason came out on the losing side twice means, admit it or not, Mourinho will be eager to put those ghosts to bed.

COBHAM, ENGLAND - APRIL 21:  Manager Jose Mourinho with coaches Rui Faria and Steve Holland during the Chelsea Training Serssion at Chelsea Training Ground on April 21, 2014 in Cobham, England.  (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)
Christopher Lee/Getty Images

It would be ideal to do it against Liverpool, but Atletico will have to do. And anyway, this season is one tinged with a sense of occasion.

Mourinho's back with the club he loves the most, competing in the competition he adores above all and the final is in Lisbon—the capital city of his native Portugal.

Barcelona aren't here to goad him, but the memories of Anfield in 2005 and 2007 do the job.

The Champions League is the one black mark on Mourinho's Chelsea legacy. Against Atletico, that can all change.


Garry Hayes is Bleacher Report's lead Chelsea correspondent and will be following the club from a London base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter here @garryhayes