Jose Mourinho at Chelsea: how the Special One changed the way I watch football

Jose Mourinho Tottenham Chelsea

Like a lot of English football fans, the first time I ever heard about Jose Mourinho was during the build-up to Porto’s Champions League last 16 match against Manchester United in 2004.

The British football media often cast continental opposition as either dangerous bruisers or walkover Johnny Foreigners – but there was something a bit different at play here. An odd amount of press time had been dedicated to Porto’s manager, a young upstart of considerable pedigree. Listening to a football phone-in on the morning of the second leg as I walked to school, I vividly remember one caller saying, “Don’t underestimate Porto, they could really do United here” – a notion that seemed to fly in the face of empirical wisdom of the time. 

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