Nicknamed ‘the Special One’, José Mourinho is widely regarded as one of the best football managers in the world. Known as a tactical genius, Mourinho also has a talent for getting the best out of his players. From Porto, Chelsea, Real Madrid, and Manchester United, here are the best players Mourinho’s coached.
Paul Pogba, Manchester United
The engine of the Manchester United team, Paul Pogba is always keen on goal. With his infectious energy, leadership, and playmaking ability, Pogba helped guide Man U to an EFL Cup and a UEFA Europa League triumph. With 283 appearances and 53 goals to date, Pogba is looking to add more silverware to his trophy case.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid
Setting a record fee of 80 million pounds upon his transfer from Manchester United, the striker made a monumental impact on Los Blancos over a nine-year stretch. The Portuguese forward surpassed Raul, the previous number seven, with 450 goals of his own on 438 appearances, averaging over one per game. A four-time Champions League winner, a two-time Spanish league champ, the four-time Ballon d’Or winner as a member of Los Blancos, Ronaldo is one of the greatest to ever play the game.
Petr Čech, Chelsea
The first recipient of the Premier League Golden Glove award, Petr Čech set a single-season record of 24 clean sheets for The Blues during the 2004-05 season. After returning from a horrific incident in a 2006 match that left him with a fractured skull, he sported a trademark helmet that saw him lift Champions League, four League titles, four FA Cups, plus one UEFA Champions League.
John Terry, Chelsea
John Terry is still the only player to captain a team in the Premier League to five titles. Known as ‘Captain Fantastic,’ the defender spent over 19 years at Chelsea, amounting to 500 appearances with the club. He was also known to take copius notes while playing under Jose Mourinho. Terry capped off a storied career with a Champions League victory in 2012. He also earned four FA Cups and three league cups.
Frank Lampard, Chelsea
“Super Frankie Lampard,” as came to be known among the Chelsea faithful, is still the only midfielder to score 150 or more goals in the Premier League. The goal-scoring legend also had a knack for passing, registering 102 assists in his 13 years at Chelsea. The 3-time Chelsea player of the season and Champions League winner once finished runner-up to Ronaldinho to Ballon d’Or in 2005.
Didier Drogba, Chelsea
Undoubtedly one of the greatest players in Blues’ history, Didier Drogba scored 157 goals in 341 appearances for The Blues. He also helped Chelsea equalize in the 2012 Champions League final before scoring the winning penalty against Bayern Munich. The Ivorian scored consistently in the biggest competitions, 36 goals in European competition and a goal in four FA Cup finals. The twice Premier League Golden Boot also won three League Cups.
Michael Essien, Chelsea
Nicknamed The Bison for his strong defending, the Ghanian Michael Essien played more than 250 games for Chelsea as a central midfielder. During his nine years at Stamford Bridge, he became known as a utility player that did it all. The selfless Ghanian hero helped Chelsea win the Premier League in 2006 and 2010, along with three FA Cups and a 2012 UEFA Champions League trophy.
Eden Hazard, Chelsea
The Belgian has been a creative sensation for the Blues. Nicknamed the “Belgian Messi,” Eden Hazard speed and ball control are second to none. The attacking midfielder has scored 74 goals in his 7 seasons with the club. A two-time Premiership League champion Hazard has also won two domestic cups and the Europa League in 2013.
Ricardo Carvalho, Chelsea
Ricardo Carvalho played six years with Chelsea, most notably in the early days with Jose Mourinho’s side. He formed a partnership with John Terry which became — the two became known as the Pensioners. Carvalho won 3 Premier League titles, 3 FA Cups, and 2 English Cups.
Iker Casillas, Real Madrid
Part of the Real Madrid team since the age of 9, the Spanish goalie spent 16 years with the first team where he won three Champions League titles. Known for his acrobatic and quick reflexes, Casillas went on to make 725 appearances with Real Madrid where he loaded up the trophy case with five Spanish League championships, four Spanish Super Cups, two Copa Del Rey’s and two UEFA Super Cups.
Ashley Cole, Chelsea
Considered by some to be the best left back in the world during his career at Chelsea, Ashley Cole won four FA Cups, a Premier League, a League Cup, a Europa League Cup, and Champions League with The Blues. His controversial move from the Gunners in 2006 to Chelsea earned him the nickname ‘Cashley Cole’ by Arsenal fans. With his continued success and swath of trophies in West London, Cole was able to put the transfer saga comfortably behind him.