Manager’s soap diva histrionics perfect for a fly-on-the-wall production guaranteed to take ratings through the roof
In 2007, coinciding with the moment David Beckham made his debut for LA Galaxy, I was at their Home Depot Center ground in Los Angeles to watch José Mourinho’s Chelsea compete in something called the World Series of Soccer. Don’t look for this competition – they don’t play it any more. As part of their US summer tour, Chelsea beat LA Galaxy in the last match, though the competition was won on goal difference by – hang on, let me get my reading glasses on – Tigres UANL. Suwon Samsung Bluewings finished fourth.
Before the Galaxy game, Mourinho was asked by an American journalist how much the World Series of Soccer trophy would mean compared with others he had won, including the two Premier League titles and the Champions League with Porto. A pause. Looking the journalist directly in the eye, a smile playing round the corner of his lips, Mourinho declared it would mean just as much to him as all of those – “of course”. Obviously, I never speak for the 99% of gentlemen who make up the rest of the sports press pack but my reaction to the moment was the reflection: “I do slightly love you, you insolent bastard.”
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