It was the first time Jose Mourinho left a club as more of a failure than a success. He might be in a place he’s happier at (Chelsea), but it’s going to be a while before Jose Mourinho lets his Real Madrid period out of his system, or stop talking about it.
When Mourinho left Porto, he was a European champion with a club from a lesser European leagu. When he left Chelsea, he was the manager who brought them to the front of European football (with the help of plenty of money), even though his departure wasn’t on the best of terms. At Inter, he won a European trophy for the first time in over 40 years, joining Real Madrid at the highest point available for him.
Three years later, things are different. It’s not the clubs needing to prove themselves to him that they’re worthy. Mourinho did win a league title in Madrid, but that was it. A cup isn’t something Real Madrid fans consider success; only Mourinho and his players after a disappointing debut season for him.
That title in the second season didn’t really change his legacy at the club. His incidents with Iker Casillas, the fans and the Madrid media that couldn’t wait to get him out made it seem like it was more disastrous than he was, but there’s no doubt he failed at the end. One championship in three seasons, no Champions League title, or even final.
Mourinho doesn’t want to be reminded of a failure, so while he’s trying to win a championship again with Chelsea and show that when they won the Champions League (with Roberto Di Matteo) it wasn’t about the manager that wasn’t him, he keeps throwing mentions to his Madrid time.
About how Cristiano Ronaldo suddenly isn’t as great as he used to be when Mourinho was pushing for him to win the Ballon d’Or. How Real Madrid is all about politics. How his time with the club was actually a success. How he “toppled” Barcelona, but not really. Ego makes you lie, or at least perceive reality in a different way than the rest.
Mourinho can’t admit that he failed at Real Madrid. Not even during his last season, which ended without a title.
The third year was the year of elections. Elections in that club mean a lot and we were in the middle of things that were not normal and only people that is inside can understand what it is. But the season was not so bad. We reached the cup final, of course we lost but we reached the cup final. We reached the UCL semifinals, one goal, one goal difference for not to play the final so the season was not so bad but finish without trophies, only with the Super Cup – we beat Barcelona in the Super Cup – and that’s not enough for me.
The Premier League isn’t a two horse race, as Mourinho remembers very well. A more sympathetic press will certainly help. But Mourinho is right now hanging out with a shadow of failure from Real Madrid, and won’t shake it off without championships, regardless of what he says about his time at the club.