Jose Mourinho’s proud record of winning European finals has finally come to an end, two decades after he announced himself as a special coach with Porto’s UEFA Cup victory in 2003.
Curiously, the Portuguese coach has never won the UEFA Super Cup, but his record in finals proper was flawless until Roma came up against the immovable object of Sevilla in the Europa League final.
Here are all of his European final appearances in chronological order, and how he and his teams fared.
Porto, UEFA Cup 2003
Mourinho’s first European final, and his announcement on the main stage that he was going to be something special.
In a run that perhaps epitomised the old UEFA Cup, Mourinho’s Porto had to go through Lens, Turkish side Denizlispor, Panathinaikos, and Lazio before facing Celtic in the final at the Estadio Olimpico in Seville.
It was a superb match, with a Henrik Larsson brace seeing him twice level for Celtic to force extra time where a silver goal (yes, a silver goal) from Brazilian striker Derlei gave Mourinho his first taste of European glory.
You know who to thank when you win your football pub quiz now.
A winner in the 115th minute 😮😮😮
— UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) May 21, 2019
Porto, Super Cup 2003
With a UEFA Cup back in the north of Portugal, Porto headed to Monaco to face off AC Milan in the Super Cup.
Just a few legends in the Milan side. Paolo Maldini, Gennaro Gattuso, Andrea Pirlo, Clarence Seedorf, Andriy Sevchenko and Filippo Inzaghi. Oh, and there was Rivaldo on the bench. And Cafu. Managed by Carlo Ancelotti.
Porto? Benni McCarthy leading the line. We’re surprised they lost 1-0 too.
Porto, Champions League 2004
Porto were priced at 50-1 to win the 2003-04 Champions League, but if Mourinho was a betting man we reckon he would have stuck a fair bit on him doing it anyway.
And then he actually went and did it.
It was a strange Champions League season, with Bayern and Manchester United (defeated by Porto, insert iconic celebration here) knocked out in the Round of 16 and Real and AC Milan taken care of in the quarters.
That left a final four of Deportivo, Porto, Chelsea (who were the newly rich boys back then), and Monaco.
At that point, Mourinho would have been confident. He had reason to be; a professional, classic 1-0 over-two-legs job on Depor was followed by a 3-0 thumping of Monaco in the final to win Porto the Champions League, the first time in 17 years a Portuguese side had done so.
If no one was taking notice of Mourinho before, they were now. He was everywhere, and soon he would be in West London signing for Chelsea.
On this day 2002 FC Porto hired Jose Mourinho as manager. In the two year spell he won six trophies which ended with the Champions League victory over Monaco.
🏆 Champions League
🏆 Uefa Cup
🏆🏆 Primeira Liga
🏆 Taça de Portugal
🏆 Supertaça pic.twitter.com/OhQMbHIB7N
— Classic Football Shirts (@classicshirts) January 23, 2018
Inter Milan, Champions League 2010
Porto was special, and so were Mourinho’s teams in Chelsea although they never quite managed to lift the European Cup.
But Inter? That was different gravy. Or different pasta sauce. Or different *inset some Italian alternative here*.
He completely manhandled Louis van Gaal’s Bayern Munich in the final, with a brace for Diego Milito, yet it was the semi-final that was perhaps his crowning managerial glory.
Basically kicking every ball himself and winning every 50-50 with his echoing touchline shouts, Mourinho’s Inter contained Pep’s Barcelona. 3-1 in the San Siro was impressive, but limiting Barca to 1-0 back at the Camp Nou was even more so.
Bravo, Signor Mourinho.
Chelsea, Super Cup 2013
Pep Guardiola vs Jose Mourinho in a European final? Oh yes.
The pair’s rivalry whilst at Barcelona and Real Madrid was the stuff of legend, so of course fate conspired to see them meet early on in their first new jobs since they were Clasico foes – in the UEFA Super Cup, surprisingly the only European final Mourinho contested across his two stints as Blues boss.
Mourinho returned to Chelsea after burning his bridges at the Bernabeu while Guardiola inherited Jupp Heynckes’ treble-winners Bayern Munich after his year-long sabbatical.
The game itself was a cracker. Reigning Europa League champions Chelsea gave Bayern a proper test, and twice took the lead – first through Fernando Torres and then via Eden Hazard.
But an injury-time Javi Martinez equaliser took the tie to penalties, and Guardiola’s Bayern lifted the trophy after a missed spot-kick from a 20-year-old Romelu Lukaku.
Manchester United, Europa League 2017
14 years on from his UEFA Cup triumph, Mourinho set his mind on updating his trophy cabinet with the newly named Europa League trophy which, of course, is not a league.
Favourites from the outset, Mourinho’s men certainly bided their luck at times on the way to the final but against Ajax they had no issues, winning 2-0. Mourinho insisted that the Charity Shield, League Cup and Europa League counted as a treble. Yes, the worst in history.
Manchester United, Super Cup 2017
Was the Europa League a sign of the exciting, battling Mourinho team United would become on the way to the Premier League title? No. Would they at least win a solitary Super Cup against Real Madrid to give fans hope? Also, no.
In Skopje, a single goal from new signing Romelu Lukaku failed to spark a comeback and Madrid won 2-1 in the Macedonian capital.
Mourinho post-match was his usual self.
“We were playing against a team of fantastic players and we discussed the result until almost the end, not the end but almost the end,” he said after the game.
“Almost the end because when Cristiano Ronaldo is coming, the referee decided to show the respect for this amazing player, and then game over because every time Cristiano wanted a free-kick the game was stopped.”
How United fans wish that was the same now.
Roma, Conference League 2022
In his first season in charge of the Giallorossi, Mourinho led them to the final of the inaugural Conference League by navigating past Vitesse, Bodo/Glimt and Leicester City in the knockout stages.
They faced Arne Slot’s Feyenoord in the final in Tirana, Albania and got the job done with a classically Mourinho 1-0 victory.
“It is one thing to win when everyone expects it, when you made the investments to win, but it’s quite another to win when something feels immortal, that feels truly special,” Mourinho said adding more silverware to his honours list.
Roma, Europa League 2023
Something had to give as six-time Europa League/UEFA Cup winners Sevilla faced off against five-time European trophy winner Mourinho and his Roma side in Budapest.
In the end it was Sevilla, midtable in La Liga and flirting with relegation earlier in the campaign, that kept their European final record unblemished. Los Rojiblancos edged it on penalties after a terse 1-1 draw after 120 minutes – and plenty more injury-time, thanks to no shortage of gamesmanship and lengthy stoppages.
“I’ve won five European finals over the years and on this occasion I’m no less proud than the five times I won,” Mourinho told reporters after the match.
“I am proud of the players. I told them before that we would either be leaving with the cup or we’d be dead on our feet.
“We’re leaving dead on our feet. The players are totally exhausted and so am I, both physically and psychologically.”