Who would make the first team from the many stars who’ve succeeded under the ‘Special One’?
Jose Mourinho has returned to manage Chelsea this year following a six year absence from Stamford Bridge.
In that time Mourinho has won six major trophies at Inter Milan and Real Madrid, to add to the collection the 50-year-old had already achieved with the Blues and FC Porto.
So fanatix thought it would be a good, but difficult task to create the greatest starting XI from stars who have played under the Portuguese maestro.
GK: Iker Casillas – Real Madrid
A stalwart during Mourinho’s first two years at the Santiago Bernabeu, the Spaniard was actually left out for some of the boss’ final season at the club.
However, despite Petr Cech and Julio Cesar being strong challengers, the sheer class of Casillas sees the 31-year-old walk into almost any team and the ‘keeper did win La Liga in 2012, as captain and with a record 100 points.
RB: Javier Zanetti – Inter Milan
The Argentine is one of the only players in world football to match Manchester United’s Ryan Giggs for longevity, being 39 like the midfielder and achieving great things with Inter.
Despite being 36 at the time Zanetti was instrumental in perhaps the club’s finest hour – the treble-winning season of 2010.
CB: Lucio – Inter Milan
Accompanying Zanetti in the back four is another Inter star and another South American, with Brazil international Lucio providing the rock at the back of the Italian club’s defence.
Mourinho likes to build teams on a solid foundation and the signing of the centre-back from Bayern Muncih in 2009 certainly provided that.
CB: Ricardo Carvalho – FC Porto, Chelsea and Real Madrid
The Portuguese defender spent a lot of time following Mourinho around it seemed, but the centre-back was definietely not in the first team based on knowing the manager.
Carvalho formed formidable partnerships in defence at all three clubs, most prominently with John Terry at Stamford Bridge and the 35-year-old is now at AS Monaco.
LB: Ashley Cole – Chelsea
Like Casillas, Cole is almost a must just for the sheer brilliance of the full-back – despite the Englishman only playing under Mourinho for a year.
Cole received plenty of criticism for leaving Arsenal for the Blues, but a Premier League title, three FA Cups, the Champions League and Europa League tells its own story.
CM: Frank Lampard – Chelsea
Along with Terry the midfielder formed an unbreakable bond with Mourinho during the Portuguese manager’s three previous years at the Bridge and the England international would seemingly jump under a bus for the boss.
It worked both ways though and some of the greatest performances of Lampard’s illustrious career came between 2004 and 2007.
CM: Deco – FC Porto and Chelsea
Essentially in this side for making Mourinho’s name whilst at Porto, with a Man of the Match performance from the Portuguese midfielder in the Champions League final capping off a superb season for player and manager alike in 2004.
Deco never quite found that brilliance when playing for the Blues a few years later, but the attacking midfielder showed his class at the top with a spell at Barcelona in between.
CM: Wesley Sneijder – Inter Milan
Like Lucio and Cole, Sneijder only played for the one season under Mourinho but the treble-winning campaign in 2010 was inspired by some superb displays from the Dutchman.
At the end of the summer that year, following an impressive World Cup with the Netherlands as well, Sneijder was considered one of the greatest midfielders in the world – how times change.
RW: Samuel Eto’o – Inter Milan
Admittedly not known as a right winger, Mourinho did play the Cameroonian out wide on several occasions to accommodate Diego Milito in the side.
The pace and trickiness of Eto’o meant the forward could adjust and the former Barca man is possibly part of the greatest piece of business of all time – the African plus £40m for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, nice work Mourinho.
LW: Cristiano Ronadlo – Real Madrid
Perhaps the most unlucky player in history in some ways to be playing at the same time as Lionel Messi, Ronaldo was already at the Bernabeu when Mourinho arrived.
To be honest the Portugal captain could probably succeed under anyone but the Portuguese combo was irresistible at times.
ST: Didier Drogba – Chelsea
When Drogba arrived at the Bridge for £24m in 2004 as one of Mourinho’s first signings the Ivorian was criticised for too much diving and not enough end product.
However, the striker would go onto to be regarded as one of Chelsea’s greatest ever players and in Mourinho’s last season at the club the African netted 20 Premier League goals.