top of page

Jose Mourinho Biography- Coaching Notes

This was an awesome read; all about the pre-Chelsea days of a young Jose Mourinho. The book is written by a very close friend of his who is able to give a very detailed account of his life and times. It starts out with him in Barcelona working for Sir Bobby Robson, but then quickly transitions over to his early days as a Head Coach in Portugal with a couple different clubs. The book then finishes with him on top of the world at Porto. I highly recommend this book not just because I am a huge fan of his, but because it proves that any success you want in life you have to earn and graft for. Jose's road wasn't easy and he shows us he sacrificed a lot and worked tirelessly. Here are my notes and important coaching notes that I pulled out.

Jose Mourinho (Biography) by Luis Lourenco

Introduction: Made in Portugal

  • “Next season we’ll be champions”. As one Portista told me, everything you needed to know about Jose Mourinho’s conviction and sense of ambition was encapsulated in that one phase. Pg.10

  • The mixture of charismatic leadership and painstaking attention to detail, that combine to make Jose Mourinho the outstanding coach of his generation. Pg. 11

Chapter 1: The Return

  • When leaving Barcelona and facing unemployment…“I’m not the least bit afraid of the future. I have great confidence in myself and in my knowledge. I know that I can make the difference and that I can win.” Pg. 18

  • One of his main virtues… “guided discovery; that is they discover according to my clues. I construct practice situations that will set them on a certain path. They begin to sense this, so we talk, discuss things and come to a conclusion” pg.20

  • “I have a project to present to whoever wants to hire me; I have well-defined ambitions and objectives” pg. 21

  • Early on he created his… ‘training file’, a methodology where for specific objectives, there are a set of specific exercises pg. 23

  • “Patience is a virtue” pg. 23

Chapter 2: Objective Achieved

  • “At 37, he felt he could do something different at Benfica, something positive…Fully confident of his own abilities, like no other” pg.29

  • “I would never abdicate from group cohesion in favour of one person” pg.30

  • “I’ll carry on regardless,” was his motto pg.32

  • “I have never been late in my life… I always like to be the first to arrive” pg.32

  • “I made them (Benfica) two promises… first was my guarantee of ‘quality work’…and second was that I would be ‘direct’ (with them” pg.33

  • “In my talks before the match, I always define some typical situations set up by the opponents; that is, the moves they usually try out, those they have studied” pg.35

  • “I also introduced another change- the compulsory use of shin-guards” pg.37

  • “We must have character, and those players who don’t have it offer me no security in terms of moving ahead. I only go to war with those I trust” pg.39

  • From the very beginning, Mourinho tried to discipline him (Sabry) on the field- to instill a certain measure of group culture in the player” pg.42

  • “He’d promise to be loyal to his players, ‘face to face’ pg.43

  • “Extremely methodical, Jose Mourinho has made a note of everything that he’s done from the very beginning of his professional life” pg.43

  • “A number 10 player must display a high tactical level in order to link between the defense and attack, but not the defense and attack of the opponent” pg.44

  • “Tensions were running high… Mourinho let none of this show as he rode upfront in the coach” pg.49

  • “As usual, Mourinho didn’t make a long speech in the changing rooms before the match” pg.50

  • The more strength the Board gives a coach, the stronger a football coach is pg.56

Ch.3: The Transition

  • “What impressed me most about Jose Mourinho was his capacity to mould a young team in his image- an aggressive, motivated, and winning team…and make any player believe that he was the best in the world in his position, when perhaps he wasn’t” pg.65

  • “Charisma, leadership, and a great deal of work and study were, and still are, the main qualities and ingredients of his success” pg.65

  • “So there was no time to waste. He went up and down the country watching second division games, spent a month in Brazil, and watched hundreds of videos looking for players that might be of interest to Uniao de Leiria” pg.71

  • “Its best that you understand that if that’s how the others worked, then I’m a little different. I don’t work that way” pg.75

  • In motivating players, Mourinho had made a promise to the squad at the start. “Don’t doubt that sooner or later I’ll go to a big club. And when I go, some of you are coming with me” pg.79

  • “Baltemar Brito and Rui Faria would surely go with me when I left Uniao de Leiria”…extreme loyalty pg.84

Ch.4: Preparing the Future

  • “His best calling card and most accurate reflection of his personality was when he introduced himself to the players, saying “We’ll be champions next year” pg.90

  • “I promise that I intend to play on the attack. I promise that we will work towards that goal every day, until we reach a perfectly systematic” pg.91

  • “Upon my first meeting with the players, I promised them quality work on my part, and I told them that the team would soon be better. I also told them that they would all be valued and that they’d be better in the future” pg.93

  • Ambition… “a football team is only worthy of being called that when every single player, without exception, wants to win- and wants to win a great deal, regardless of whether or not he is playing” pg.94

  • One of Mourinho’s golden rules is to not burden players with long speeches at end of a game… but “I let rip, because I felt that my players hadn’t given their all on the pitch” pg.101

  • “I felt that it was also important to show them that no player- no matter how good or how important he was to the team- would play if he wasn’t doing well” pg105

  • “The concept of ‘club’ is more important than any player” pg.109

Ch.5: A Clean Sweep

  • “Now, it wasn’t good enough to be a good player to join the Porto ranks. Mourinho also decided to carefully analyse the players’ character- their moral fibre. Apart from good players, he was also looking for good men” pg.115

  • “Only the group is important, and it is only the group that is worth preserving” pg.116

  • “He knew that sooner or later he would be faced with a situation where he’d have ten of his players up against his opponent’s eleven players. Mourinho likes to forsee everything so that nothing is left to chance” … “Ususally when teams are one player short, they immediately change their playing philosophy, and if the score is level they stop thinking about winning. That wasn’t the case with us” pg.122-123

  • “Training was always intense. We practiced specific situations in order to know at any moment whether we should take a risk and attack as soon as we got the ball, or whether we should keep the ball moving because it didn’t seem as if the conditions were there to create danger…This wears the players out, and so once they’ve regained the ball they have to decide if they can attack successfully” pg127

  • “My players finally all understood that playing today didn’t necessarily mean they’d play tomorrow” pg.135

  • “I believe that when we are mentally strong, those people who seek to intimidate and disturb us have exactly the opposite effect. Instead, they give us the strength and courage to carry on our way” pg.141

  • Immediately after the defeat, Jose Mourinho was the first to ask people to believe… “if anybody here doesn’t believe that it’s possible to win there and move onto the semi-finals, say so now, because you’ll stay here and I’ll take somebody else with me to Greece” pg.144

  • “Some of the factors (when traveling) I tried to instill within the group were: relaxation, no stress, contact with the outside world, getting a feel for the Scottish fans and their reactions and, last but not least, access to culture” pg.164

  • I told my players…”Finals were made to be won”…destiny pg.165

Chapter 6: On top of Europe

  • “I’m going to demand even greater ambition and humility. This is the only way we can continue to win” pg.179

  • Jose Mourinho is a coach who develops constantly. His ideas, training methodology, and concept of play are systematically analysed and studied, and are continuously evolving…No matter how good the previous season, there are always changes to be made for the next one- nothing stays the same” pg.181

  • “(Often) The mentality was to win by a lot of goals at home and hold out in the away game…I don’t think like that and I don’t instill this attitude in my players. Whether at home or away, we have to play to win the game. That’s all that matters” pg.203

  • “The only demand I place on my players: that they give their all on the field” pg.205

  • “I was always very direct with my players in telling them what I wanted” pg.209

  • Before the match, each player was given an individual DVD to look at and analyse for their own role pg.213

  • “I thought about the game, prepared myself for it mentally, thought about the players and tried to tap into their psychological state of mind. I surrounded myself with my assistants and we developed our collective spirit and sense of worth” pg214

  • I felt the sweaty arm of my captain around me; he’d risked a yellow card by leaving the field to give me a hug, and said, “You’re the best, we’re champions!” This was better than getting the medal. Pg.219


I am a youth and college soccer coach who is passionate about making coaching my career and helping assist players in their development. I am always trying to learn from the game and always willing to share with others the insights I have made from the game. If you have coaching tips or materials you would like to share, just contact me.

See social media links on the 'Contact' page.

bottom of page