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Jose Mourinho Calls Himself 'a Constructor, a Football Mason'

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistNovember 3, 2017

Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho arrives for the UEFA Champions League Group A football match between Manchester United and Benfica at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England on October 31, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFF        (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

Jose Mourinho has said he left Real Madrid primed for the trophy haul the club has experienced since he left in 2013. Mourinho, who is now in charge of Manchester United, called himself "a constructor, a football mason" and one who leaves teams "ready to explode." 

The 54-year-old made the bold statements during an interview with Sport & Style (h/t Thomas Bristow of the Daily Mirror).

Mourinho believes he was the catalyst for the run of success Real embarked upon once he left in 2013 for a return to the Premier League and a second spell with Chelsea:

"I would have liked to arrive at Real Madrid at the moment I left it. I would like to land at Manchester United just when I decide to leave, what for? To catch a coach team for Mourinho ... A dream!

When I left, Madrid was ready to explode, and that's when they really started to win, especially against Barcelona ... I'm a constructor, a football mason."

Mourinho wasn't unsuccessful in his three years in charge of Real, winning the La Liga title in 2012 and Copa del Rey in 2011 during his tenure. However, he couldn't crack the code in the UEFA Champions League with Los Blancos, losing at the semi-final stage three years running.

Mourinho won La Liga with a Real Madrid team built around Ozil, but couldn't win the Champions League.
Mourinho won La Liga with a Real Madrid team built around Ozil, but couldn't win the Champions League.Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Real went to win three Champions League titles in four years (2014, 2016, 2017) under the guidance of managers Carlo Ancelotti and Zinedine Zidane. Ancelotti also captured the Copa del Rey in 2014, while Zidane won La Liga last season.

Mourinho's suggestion he prompted this trophy haul has more than a touch of revisionist history about it. For one thing, Ancelotti sold striker Gonzalo Higuain and Mesut Ozil, two key cogs in Mourinho's teams.

Angel di Maria was chosen to replace Ozil as the creative fulcrum, while Gareth Bale arrived from Tottenham Hotspur to revive the forward line. Bale, a player Mourinho didn't sign or develop, scored the winner for Ancelotti's men against Barcelona in the 2014 Copa del Rey final and also scored in the Champions League final against Atletico Madrid.

As for Zidane, he also made Casemiro and Isco essential parts of the squad that's won the Champions League the last two seasons running.

Ancelotti and Zidane both won the Champions League with Real after Mourinho left.
Ancelotti and Zidane both won the Champions League with Real after Mourinho left.GERARD JULIEN/Getty Images

Mourinho helped players such as Alvaro Morata and Raphael Varane develop. He also oversaw Cristiano Ronaldo's most prolific period. Yet he's stretching a point to claim credit for what came next.

Similarly, the Portuguese manager's statement that it's a dream to take over after him will only be proved true at United if he can make the Red Devils winners again. The mission was partly accomplished last season when Mourinho guided the Red Devils to the EFL Cup and UEFA Europa League trophies.

Yet United finished sixth in the Premier League and trail neighbours Manchester City by five points in this season's title race.

If he doesn't win the title with the Reds before he moves on, but the next manager does, Mourinho's successor will simply have taken the club a step further than he could, just as Ancelotti and Zidane did with Real in the Champions League.

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