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A look back to the Illustrious time of Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid

Updated: Oct 5, 2023

Real Madrid is the pinnacle of football with awards like the Best Club of the Century, most Champions League trophies 14, Most La Liga titles won 35, 19 Copa Del Rey, Club World Cup, 12 Spanish Super Cups, European Supercup, you name it, Real Marid has won

it all.

The success Real Madrid has gained didn't come like a cakewalk, Real Madrid team has struggled in times to keep up with generation a few times, and their bitter rivals Barcelona have seen enormous success during the same period, often Real Madrid is called out due to General Franco’s rule which gave real Madrid some advantage in competitive stages.

Recently, Since the rise of the historic Barcelona team in 2009 under Pep Guardiola, Real Madrid seemed to have panicked after they saw the debacle of their team at the hands of mighty Barcelona in 2009 at their home turf of Santiago Bernabeu, Real Madrid are always speculated and expected to bring in the Best of players around the world so it was no surprise that the very best of that time were bought into the team, Likes of Kaka, Gonzalo Higuain, Cristiano Ronaldo, Mezut Ozil, Angel Di Maria. A list of very high-profile names in the sport, the icing was the signing of Jose Mourinho, the Portuguese mastermind who saw success with Inter-Milan, Porto, he came in by winning the historic treble with Inter-Milan.

Jose Mourinho's Style of Play at Real Madrid

Jose Mourinho's theory of Counter Attacking football was simple, Play the ball forward, Long and fast, accompanied by very pacey wingers of Angel Di Maria, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonzalo Higuain, and Karim Benzema it didn't take much time for Jose’s side to break loose the opposition defense, Mourihno style was not keen in taking the possession, A very tight defense system of virtually every player tracking back,

Usually, the ball was won in Madrid's half and was released onto the past of forwards who would make Electrifying runs towards the opposition's half. Mourinho was able to make his team a very deadliest counter-attacking team, Real Madrid of 2012 was only the team that could stare down into the eyes of Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona, with hard work came success, and Real Madrid won the league that year with a staggering 100 points on the board.

Jose Mourinho at that time can be said to be a synonym of controversies, his status in the media was one that of a very robust one, Real Madrid 2010 which was also Jose's very first season at Real Madrid had to endure a severe thrashing by Barcelona of 5-0, it was the time of shame and humiliation for Mourihno time.

It was during this era that Real Madrid gained that strong winning mentality, the team looked like an absolute beast on the counter, and given that Real Madrid to counter meant a death wish for any opposition team, However even with this deadliest attacking front, Real Madrid saw no major success in Champions League, crashing out in semi-finals in 2012 Champions League campaign.

Mourihno was able to extract every bit of performance from that Real Madrid side, it looked convincing that Mourihno had built a winning machine in Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil, Angel Di Mari, Karim Benzema, Gonzalo Higuain, all things seemed pretty good until Jose entered the 3rd year of his Real Madrid managerial career

He tactically used the 4-2-3-1 formation which gave enough room and freedom for Cristiano Ronaldo on the left-hand side and gave Mesut Ozil that deadly AMF role which saw him finding gaps on the opposition half, with Marcelo, Ramos, Pepe, and Xabi Alonso at their prime Mourihno was the confidence of his defense line he never seemed to change it as that defense had strength with pace.

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Jose Mourinho's Time at Real Madrid - His Appointment

When José Mourinho was appointed as the head coach of Real Madrid in May 2010, the footballing world braced itself for a whirlwind of success, controversy, and unforgettable moments. Over the course of three tumultuous seasons, Mourinho's time at the helm of the Galácticos was marked by intense highs, bitter rivalries, and a complex legacy that continues to be a subject of debate among fans and pundits alike.

The Arrival of "The Special One"

José Mourinho, often referred to as "The Special One," arrived at Real Madrid after a highly successful stint at Inter Milan, where he secured an unprecedented treble, including the UEFA Champions League title. His appointment at the Santiago Bernabéu was met with great excitement, as fans hoped that he would bring European glory back to the Spanish capital.

Jose Mourinho's 2010-2011 Season: The Copa del Rey Triumph

Mourinho's inaugural season saw Real Madrid win the Copa del Rey, their first major trophy in three years. While they finished second in La Liga behind Barcelona and reached the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League, the team's style of play drew criticism for its pragmatism and physicality.

Jose Mourinho's 2011-2012 Season: Record-Breaking La Liga Title

In his second season, Mourinho guided Real Madrid to a historic La Liga title with a record-breaking 100 points. The team played some exhilarating football and broke Barcelona's domestic dominance. However, the season was marred by controversial moments, including confrontations with the media and opposing coaches.

The 2011-12 season will forever be etched in the annals of Real Madrid's illustrious history as a season of remarkable achievement and record-breaking success. Under the guidance of the enigmatic José Mourinho, Los Blancos soared to new heights, capturing the La Liga title with an unprecedented 100 points—a feat that will forever be remembered as a testament to the team's dominance and Mourinho's tactical brilliance.

Jose Mourinho TIme at Real Madrid

José Mourinho, often referred to as "The Special One," took over as the head coach of Real Madrid in May 2010, and his second season in charge proved to be a defining moment in the club's modern history. He was tasked with ending Barcelona's domestic supremacy and returning Real Madrid to the pinnacle of Spanish football.

The Real Madrid squad for the 2011-12 season was a formidable mix of established stars and emerging talents. Mourinho had at his disposal an array of world-class players, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Özil, Karim Benzema, Xabi Alonso, and Sergio Ramos. Additionally, the summer signing of Portuguese defender Fábio Coentrão bolstered the squad's depth.

Record-Breaking Points Haul

Real Madrid's pursuit of the La Liga title in the 2011-12 season was characterized by consistency, firepower, and tactical acumen. The team notched an incredible 100 points, a record-breaking achievement in the history of La Liga. They scored a staggering 121 goals while conceding just 32, showcasing a perfect blend of attacking prowess and defensive solidity.

Key Matches and Performances

  • El Clásico Domination: Real Madrid's performances in El Clásico matches against Barcelona were pivotal. They secured an emphatic 1-3 victory at Camp Nou in December 2011, ending Barcelona's 11-game winning streak against them. Real Madrid also won the home fixture 2-1.

  • Cristiano Ronaldo's Prowess: Cristiano Ronaldo was the talisman of the team, scoring an astonishing 46 goals in La Liga alone. His consistency and match-winning abilities were instrumental in securing the title.

  • Mourinho's Tactical Brilliance: José Mourinho's tactical approach was key to Real Madrid's success. His ability to adapt strategies to nullify opponents while maximizing his team's strengths made him a revered figure.

  • Home Fortress: Real Madrid's home form was impeccable, with a 100% record at the Santiago Bernabéu, making it a fortress that visiting teams found virtually impenetrable.

The 2011-12 season under José Mourinho will forever be remembered as a glorious chapter in Real Madrid's storied history. The record-breaking 100-point haul and the end of Barcelona's domestic dominance were symbolic of the team's extraordinary accomplishments.

Mourinho's tactical brilliance, Cristiano Ronaldo's scoring prowess, and the collective effort of the squad combined to create a season that continues to inspire fans and football enthusiasts alike. It was a season when Real Madrid reaffirmed its status as a footballing powerhouse and reignited the fierce rivalry with Barcelona, setting the stage for future triumphs and battles on the pitch.

Season 2012-2013: Mixed Fortunes

Mourinho's final season at Real Madrid was marked by mixed fortunes. The team finished second in La Liga behind Barcelona and had a disappointing Champions League campaign, being eliminated in the semifinals. Mourinho's relationship with players, including Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos, became strained and played a role in his departure.

Turbulent Relationships

Mourinho's time at Real Madrid was also marked by turbulent relationships, both within the club and with rival coaches. His confrontations with Barcelona's Pep Guardiola and Tito Vilanova added to the intensity of El Clásico clashes, while his strained relations with some Real Madrid players and officials led to a divisive atmosphere.

Legacy and Departure

In May 2013, José Mourinho announced his departure from Real Madrid. His time in Spain left a mixed legacy. While he delivered domestic success, broke records, and instilled a winning mentality, his confrontational style and inability to secure the Champions League left some fans disappointed.

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Jose Mourinho After 2013 - A Disappointing Ending

Even after their illustrious career at Real Madrid Jose Mourinho came out as a bitter figure in the dressing room during his third year as many players' coaching staff and board members shared discontent with his ideas and implementation, he is also said to have heated team discussions with stars figure's like Cristiano Ronaldo, hence hampering the dressing room of Real Madrid.

However, No one can deny the legacy the "special one" had brought in the Real Madrid team to the future generation of the Real Madrid team by creating the deadliest Counter-attacking.

José Mourinho's departure from Real Madrid in May 2013 marked the conclusion of a turbulent and disappointing season for the storied club. The Portuguese tactician, once hailed as "The Special One" for his remarkable achievements in previous managerial roles, left the Santiago Bernabéu amid a flurry of controversy and unfulfilled expectations.

The 2012-13 season was a campaign marred by inconsistencies and high-profile clashes, both on and off the pitch. Real Madrid had just secured the La Liga title with a record-breaking 100 points in the previous season, but the momentum was not sustained.

Jose Mourinho Time at Real Madrid

The Champions League remained an elusive prize as the team failed to progress past the semifinals, bowing out to Borussia Dortmund. The domestic Copa del Rey campaign also ended in disappointment, with a loss to city rivals Atlético Madrid in the final.

The internal dynamics within the club had deteriorated. Mourinho's relationship with key players, including club captain Iker Casillas and influential defender Sergio Ramos, became increasingly strained. Public spats and locker room tension had a palpable impact on the team's performance and morale.

Off the pitch, Mourinho's combative style and confrontations with the media drew attention away from the football itself. His often controversial remarks and behavior added to the growing sense that his time at the helm of Real Madrid was coming to an end.

The final straw came with a defeat to Atlético Madrid in the Copa del Rey final, a result that intensified the calls for change within the club. Mourinho announced his departure shortly thereafter, ending his tenure in Spain after three seasons.

Jose Mourinho's time at Real Madrid

While Mourinho's time at Real Madrid may have ended on a sour note, it's important to remember that his tenure was not without its successes. He delivered the La Liga title in impressive fashion and instilled a winning mentality in the squad. However, the disappointments and controversies of his final season ultimately overshadowed those accomplishments.

Mourinho's departure marked the end of a tumultuous era, but it also signaled the beginning of a new chapter in Real Madrid's storied history. The club would go on to appoint Carlo Ancelotti as the new head coach, setting the stage for a fresh start and new aspirations on the domestic and European fronts. José Mourinho's time at Real Madrid may have been marked by disappointment, but it remains an integral part of the club's rich and complex legacy.


José Mourinho's tenure at Real Madrid was a rollercoaster ride filled with highs and lows. His impact on the club's history cannot be denied, as he ended Barcelona's domestic dominance and instilled a sense of competitiveness. However, his abrasive style and the failure to conquer Europe's premier competition left a sense of unfulfilled potential. Mourinho's time at Real Madrid remains a fascinating chapter in the club's storied history, one that continues to spark discussions and debates among football enthusiasts worldwide.


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