Despite the major expectations placed on José Mourinho’s arrival to the Italian Peninsula last season, the outspoken tactician failed to deliver the elusive Champions League trophy to Inter Milan during his first season in charge.
The former coach at Porto and Chelsea complained about the quality of the squad he inherited, arguing that things would look very different once he had the time to build “his” Inter.
A year later, the Portuguese mastermind leads a team built to his own specifications into a second leg tie with Chelsea with a berth in the quarterfinals on the line. Inter holds a 2-1 edge and club patron Massimo Moratti will be disappointed with anything less than a place in the next round.
Despite the advantage from the first leg at Giuseppe Meazza, fan across Europe have written off the Italians. Few believe the self-proclaimed "Special One" can win on his old stomping grounds.
With Chelsea playing well up and down the lineup and striker Didier Drogba currently firing on all cylinders, the chances of the Nerazzurri progressing to the quarterfinals appear bleak at best. But having already collected a victory against the Blues, there is still every chance that Mourinho’s men could spring another surprise and advance to the next stage of the competition.
But what happens to Mourinho if his men fail to deliver the goods in London?
Considering Moratti’s obsession with the European cup, anything but spot in the quarterfinals would cast a major shadow over Mourinho’s future in the fashion capital.
Considering that Mourinho has shown anything but love for the Italian Peninsula, consistently claiming that he’s work is unappreciated, it's also entirely possible that he'd welcome a change.
The former Chelsea-tactician has been entangled in public disputes with various names in Calcio, ranging from match officials to club presidents during his two-year stint at Milan.
A master of tactics both on and off the field, the Portuguese knows exactly how to fire up his players. Mourinho may be an emotional person on the sidelines, but everything he says and does is more artfully orchestrated than it may seem at first blush.
So here’s a question worth considering as tonight's tilt gets underway. How many times has the current Inter skipper expressed his desire to return to the Premier League or to ply his trade in the Spanish La Primera?
By the looks of things it seems Mourinho has already laid the groundwork for a potential exit comes June. Having made his environment close to inhospitable with outbursts sprinkled all over the past season he could easily claim that he had no option but to move abroad when the campaign comes to a close.
With Real Madrid crashing out of the Champions League in the final 16 for the sixth year running it seems that Manuel Pellegrini’s stint at Los Blancos could come to an end after one season in charge.
Flush with cash and world-class players, Real certainly seems to have it all. Except for a world-class tactician. Enter José Mourinho?