If you’ll ask Jose Mourinho, he knows very well why he isn’t the most popular head coach in the world among some sections of fans and the media. The Real Madrid manager knows it just comes with the territory, and he wouldn’t have been as succesfull without the traits and behavior that also makes him so controversial and easily hated.
It’s hard to argue with a man who has won 7 league titles and two Champions League titles with his clubs, becoming the first manager to win a league title in Europe’s top three leagues – the English Premier League, Italian Serie A and Spanish La Liga, guiding Real Madrid to their first league title since 2008 after three long years under Barcelona rule.
Explaining Mourinho’s method is possible, but the man himself does it better than anyone else, speaking to 150 coaches from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America during Real Madrid’s American tour, currently in California.
The image you send outside is the bad part of assuming responsibility. You need to know that, when you do not behave like everyone else, you create negative feelings among people but positive feelings among your own people. When you are the leader, you cannot forget that. I take that on myself. I do not care what other people think, only my own.
In these clubs, there is always pressure and I teach them to live with it and learn from it, as they have it on and off the pitch. And it is not a problem for me to share emotions; to kiss a player, cry with him, criticise him; that is all part of being a family.
The group is something you can control, but I do not want to say that I want to control the club, not at all. I always say I do not control my house; my wife does that; and similarly it is not my dream to control the club. But when you see that you are influencing the philosophy of the club, you see we are all going in the same direction.
I am not saying I am always right. I am open to people who tell me I am wrong, I like that; that they make me think or reconsider. But everything is easier when your ideas have an impact on the club.
We are open in a positive way to share experiences, criticisms and ideas to create connections. When I say forever I mean forever, because all the players we have had at Chelsea, Porto and Inter are not our ex-players, they still remain our players. And they do not talk of their ex-boss, they say: ‘You are my boss.’ They are everlasting ties.
People ask me how I motivate my players. I do it with my own motivation. This is the motor, nothing more. It is key that you always show this motivation to others.