Five fiery Jose Mourinho press conferences – & what happened next

Quick Reads

Jose Mourinho used to be a darling of the media, but the Manchester United manager’s relationship with the press has become increasingly tense over the years.

When he first took over at Chelsea in 2004, Mourinho was seen as a breath of fresh air in English football, but he is now more likely to be at loggerheads with the media – as seen in his three-minute, six-question press conference ahead of the Red Devils clash with Newcastle United.

We’ve looked back at five previous fiery pressers the Portuguese has held to see what happened next.

September 2013

What he said: Mourinho walked out of his press conference prior to Chelsea’s Champions League clash with Steaua Bucharest after taking objection to a question about Kevin De Bruyne, who was training with the club’s Under-21s.

“This is fantastic because no one asks me about [Juan] Mata,” he said. “You have spoken about Mata for three weeks. Now you’re asking about Kevin.

“You are only interested in the players who are not playing. He was not selected. It was my decision. Only 11 can play and I try to decide by what they do on the pitch, when they play and in training.

“This fellow [pointing to Frank Lampard at his side] knows me for nine years and that I sometimes make mistakes but I try to be honest all the time. I was honest with Juan because of what he’s done in training and what he’s done in the game he played, and so he will play.

“With Kevin I didn’t like the match he played against Swindon and I didn’t like the way he was training. But you only ask about the guys who were not selected. Thank you.”

What happened next: Chelsea won 4-0 in Romania but ended the season trophyless. Both De Bruyne and Mata were sold in the January transfer window.

October 2015

What he said: Speaking before Chelsea travelled to West Ham, Mourinho was particularly grumpy after a frustrating draw at Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League.

One journalist tried to lighten the mood by asking the Portuguese if he would like to have any of the South African rugby players who had recently trained at Chelsea on his team. Jose was having none of it.

“You don’t get from me, good and funny headlines. I’ll treat you the way I treat your bosses.

“Private life and stupid things that you bring to the light – not you personally – I don’t like it so we go to a different level of professional relation.”

What happened next: Chelsea were beaten 2-1 at Upton Park and embarked on a run of five defeats in seven Premier League fixtures which saw Mourinho sacked in December.

May 2017

What he said: It would be unfair to describe this as ‘fiery’, but Mourinho caught the majority of journalists on the hop after United ended the 2016-17 Premier League campaign, in which they finished sixth, with a 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace.

Most of the reporters in attendance at that match were still watching the players conduct a lap of appreciation when Mourinho entered the press conference, sat down for 20 seconds and then left with no questions forthcoming.

What happened next: Three days later, United beat Ajax 2-0 in the Europa League final to add to their League Cup triumph and qualify for the following season’s Champions League.

March 2018

What he said: United were booed off after being knocked out of the Champions League in a surprise defeat to Sevilla at Old Trafford, and Mourinho snapped when asked about the supporters’ reaction, using pre-prepared notes to rant about “football heritage”.

“Fans are the fans, and the fans have the right to have their opinions and to have their reactions,” he said.

“But there is something that I used to call football heritage – I try to translate from my Portuguese, which is almost perfect to my English that is far from perfect.

“But translation, word by word is something like football heritage and what a manager inherits is something like is that the last time Manchester United won the Champions League, which didn’t happen a lot of times, was in 2008. The (last) final was 2011.”

What happened next: United went on to win five of their remaining eight Premier League fixtures – including an eye-catching comeback victory at rivals Manchester City – to finish second.

They also recorded an impressive win over Tottenham in the FA Cup semi-final, only to lose to Chelsea in the decider.

August 2018

What he said: After United were beaten 3-0 by Tottenham at Old Trafford, Mourinho was in belligerent mood, saying: “Do you know what the result was? Three-nil. Do you know what this means (holding up three fingers)?

“Three-nil, but it also means three Premier Leagues and I won more alone than the other 19 managers together. Three for me and two for them.”

Channelling his inner Aretha Franklin, he then stormed out saying: “Respect, respect, respect.”

What happened next: United bounced back with wins over Burnley and Watford, only for their form, and Mourinho’s mood, to once again worsen.


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