Saturday, May 19, 2012

Is Mourinho the greatest coach of all time?

The Portuguese claimed his seventh league title in 10 years last week as he led Real Madrid to Liga success over Barcelona. Is he now the best trainer to ever grace the game?

Ben Hayward writes of Mourinho's most recent accomplishments, and tries to gauge where he sits historically now among the world's greatest coaches.

Those seven successes in 10 years, and just nine full campaigns, make Mourinho one of the most decorated coaches in the history of the game. He has also now tasted title triumphs in four different countries, winning in his native Portugal before subsequently sealing success in Europe's three major leagues - England, Italy and now Spain. But this one was sweeter: it had been the hardest of all, he later claimed. And to win it, he had brought down his fiercest foes, Barcelona, a team tagged by many observers as the best in history.

But if Barca are seen as the best side to ever grace the game, what of the coach who has defeated them on three separate occasions, in Liga, Copa del Rey and the Champions League? No other tactician has toppled the Catalans quite like Mourinho has managed to. So if Barca are the greatest team, is Jose the finest coach in history?

It is always difficult to compare coaches and teams from different eras of the game, but Mourinho's numbers speak for themselves. Barely a decade into his coaching career, the Portuguese is one of just a few bosses to have claimed titles in four countries, the only one to have clinched championships in the three most prestigious leagues and one of just three to have won Champions League crowns at two different clubs. His is undoubtedly a winning formula.

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