The Portuguese managed led the Italian club to European glory four years ago much against the odds.
Inter had gone over 40 years without winning the European Cup and despite their resurgence in the aftermath of the 2006 Calciopoli scandal, the Nerazzurri had failed make heads turn in Europe.
However, Mourinho changed all that after he was appointed the Inter coach in the summer of 2008. The 51-year-old tactician spurred his players on and led them to European success two years later.
Inter finished second in Group F behind Barcelona, but defeated the Catalan giants over two legs in the semi-finals.
The former Italian champions got the better of Chelsea 3-1 on aggregate in the last 16, beat CSKA Moscow in the quarter-finals and triumphed 2-0 over Bayern Munich in the final in Madrid.
The football played by Mourinho’s Inter was not attractive, but tactically his players were spot on and made sure that the opponents could not impose themselves on the match. They famously defeated Barca 3-1 at the San Siro and then held on for a 1-0 defeat in the controversial second leg at Camp Nou.
Xavi has now claimed that no one remembers that Inter team from four years ago because their football was not pretty or memorable.
‘Mourinho never stops saying that he’s the ‘Special One’ because he has won this and that in a number of countries’, he told World Soccer magazine when asked if football is more than just simply winning. ‘But who remembers the Inter team which became European champions? No one’.
Xavi has been part of a number of top sides. The 34-year-old won Euro 2008, Euro 2012 and the 2010 World Cup with a Spain team that played brilliant and breathtaking football. The veteran midfielder, who is one of the greatest players of all time, was also part of a Ronaldinho-led scintillating Blaugrana side that won the Champions League in 2006 and La Liga in 2005 and 2006.
Then under coach Pep Guardiola from 2008 until 2012, Xavi was the lynchpin of a Barcelona side hailed by many as the greatest club team of all time. Two Champions League titles and three La Liga trophies were won by playing football described by many as ‘out of this world’.
In 2010, Mourinho squeezed everything out of his Inter players and led them to Champions League glory. The players were hungry for success and wanted to make it big in Europe, and Mourinho took them there. The Inter of 2010 may not have been pretty to watch, but they surely got their job done.