6 times Jose Mourinho was a monumentally sore loser: Liverpool, Barca, Sevilla…
Jose Mourinho is one of the most successful and decorated managers in the history of football. He’s also the king of the salty post-match interview after things don’t go his way.
The Portuguese coach has won more than he’s lost, having lifted countless pieces of silverware. But when things don’t quite work out as planned, he’s brilliant value – an absolute quote goldmine for any back page editor worth their salt.
He’s winless in his opening three games in the dreaded third season at Roma, with many in fear of the wheels falling off as they often had. So, in anticipation of an impending meltdown, here are six occasions in which he was a monumentally sore loser after suffering defeat.
Chelsea vs Liverpool, 2005
Luis Garcia’s ghost goal lives in European footballing infamy. It ultimately proved the difference as Rafael Benitez’s Liverpool qualified for the Champions League final at Chelsea’s expense in 2005 – and Mourinho responded in a characteristically measured fashion. Ahem.
“Bring out the linesman and ask him why he awarded the goal,” Mourinho responded.
“It must be 100% in and he must be 100% sure it is.
“My players say it’s not a goal. Other people say nobody can confirm it was a goal. Only one person decided the future of a team and of players who have never played in a Champions League final.
“Players make mistakes and he made a mistake. But I must accept that. Football is sometimes cruel. It sometimes goes your way and sometimes it goes against you.
“They scored if you can say that. You can say the linesman’s scored. It was a goal coming from the moon or from the Anfield Road stands.”
Chelsea vs Barcelona, 2006
Mourinho had previously served as an assistant to Bobby Robson at the Camp Nou but his past in Catalonia didn’t stop him giving it both barrels to Barcelona’s golden boy after Chelsea full-back Asier del Horno was sent off for fouling Lionel Messi.
“Can we suspend Messi for what you call in Barcelona play-acting?” Mourinho asked afterwards. “Barcelona is a very cultured city. It’s a place where they understand all about the theatre.
“I think it’s of course not a red card. The kid is not just a very good player; he’s more than that. He jumps and provokes contact with Del Horno and because of that the referee gives him the red card.
“It’s not a red card. Of course not, and for the second time we have to play 55-60 minutes without a man and that is completely different.”
Mourinho interviewed for the vacancy at Barcelona a couple of years later but the club hired Guardiola instead. Some believe that his comments and tactics were a key reason for him not landing the job.
Real Madrid vs Barcelona, 2011
Barcelona and Real Madrid’s epic rivalry reached white-hot new heights when the two clubs faced off four times in the space of three weeks in April 2011.
Pep Guardiola and Mourinho already had a war of words after Madrid beat Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final and Mourinho didn’t back down after losing the first leg of the Champions League semi-final.
The Los Blancos coach was incensed by the decision to send off Pepe and went on to go full tinfoil hat about it.
“If I tell UEFA what I really think and feel, my career would end now,” Mourinho said.
“Instead I will just ask a question to which I hope one day to get a response: Why? Why? Why Ovrebo? Why Busacca? Why De Bleeckere? Why Stark? Why?
“Because every semi-final the same things happen. We are talking about an absolutely fantastic football team, so why do they need that? Why? Why does a team as good as they are need something [extra] that is so obvious that everyone sees it?”
Mourinho’s comments earned him a five-match touchline ban and a €50,000 fine.
Chelsea vs Southampton, 2015
Mourinho didn’t mince his words with a mammoth seven-minute interview after a 3-1 home defeat to Southampton left Chelsea sitting 16th in the Premier League table in October 2015.
“I think it’s time to be a little bit honest and to say, clearly, the referees are afraid to give decisions for Chelsea,” he said in a Sky Sports interview.
“[With] the result [at] 1-1, it’s a huge penalty, and once more we don’t get [the decision].
“I repeat, if the FA wants to punish me they can punish me. They don’t punish other managers, they punish me, it’s not a problem for me.
“I want to say it again – referees are afraid to give decisions for Chelsea. Why? Because when they give [them] there is always a question mark from you, there is always a question, there is always a critic, so we are always punished.”
Man Utd vs Sevilla, 2018
Mourinho was keen to offer a healthy dose of perspective with a history lesson after Manchester United’s Champions League elimination at the hands of Sevilla in 2018.
“I say to the fans that the fans are the fans and have the right to their opinions and reactions but there is something that I used to call football heritage,” he said after the final whistle.
“And what a manager inherits is something like the last time Manchester United won the Champions League which didn’t happen a lot of times, was in 2008.
“So in seven years with four different managers, once not qualify for Europe, twice out in the group phase and the best was the quarter-final, this is football heritage and if you want to go to the Premier League, the last victory was 2012-13 and in the four consecutive seasons United finish fourth fifth, sixth and seventh.”
Roma vs Sevilla, 2023
Sevilla’s football heritage proved stronger than Mourinho’s in the ill-tempered and supremely niggly 2023 Europa League final.
A total of 146 minutes – including 26(!) of injury time – were played out in Budapest before Sevilla triumphed on penalties, ending Mourinho’s 100% record of winning European finals. No fewer than 13 bookings were dished out – seven for Roma, including Mourinho himself (naturally).
“Next year we won’t be playing the Champions League and that’s a good thing because we’re not made for it,” Mourinho told reporters in his post-match press conference.
“And let’s hope that Taylor, only officiates games in the Champions League and does the same bullsh*t there that he did tonight, and not in the Europa League.
“It was an intense, vibrant game with a referee who seemed Spanish. It was yellow, yellow, yellow all the time. Today in all the dubious episodes, the yellow cards, the referee blew the whistle in favour of Sevilla.”
The 60-year-old proceeded to make sure his dignity remained intact by doing his best Didier Drogba impression and chasing after Antony Taylor in the car park, yelling “It’s a f*cking disgrace!”.