Jose Mourinho was appointed the Real Madrid coach in the summer of 2010 with one and only one objective: win La Decima, the club’s 10th European Cup.
The Portuguese failed. In his three years at the Santiago Bernabeu, the 51-year-old led Los Blancos to the semi-finals of Europe’s premier club competition but not any further. Mourinho did win La Liga and the Copa del Rey once each, and also made the players more resistant to the idea that their arch-rivals Barcelona are all-consuming, but he could not lead them to Champions League success.
Mourinho also fell out with the Spanish media, the fans and a number of his players, and left the Bernabeu last summer. In came a certain Carlo Ancelotti, whose European pedigree is legendary. One of the most respected coaches in the world, he had won the Champions League twice as a player and twice as a manager: both with AC Milan. The 54-year-old had also led Chelsea to Premier League and FA Cup double in his debut season in England, and had won the Ligue 1 title with Paris Saint-Germain in 2012-13.
Ancelotti failed to steer Madrid to La Liga success this season, but he did make them Copa del Rey winners. Then on Saturday, he finally satisfied the fans’ hunger by winning the European Cup for the 10th time in the club’s history – three more times than Milan and twice as many as any other team.
What Mourinho failed in three years, Ancelotti accomplished in one: he won the world’s biggest club competition with the world’s biggest club. Which is why the Chelsea manager would not like to see Ancelotti holding aloft the trophy as shown above.
It would be interesting to note how good a relationship Ancelotti has with his Madrid players. During his post-match press conference, many of them rushed into the room to celebrate. In his final year in the Spanish capital, Mourinho’s relationships with many of the players, including his compatriots Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe, were damaged.
Madrid are now basking in glory and revelling in their historic triumph, while Mourinho has just endured yet another trophyless season as a manager. But next campaign, it could all change.