José Mourinho joins Real Madrid, and quicker than you san say sangria you see clear signs of some panic in Barcelona on the transfer-market. Fabregas next in. And after that? “Watch out – José is coming to Spain!” Well, is he that good?
Yes, I believe so, he is without doubt the best coach around at this moment looking at his track-record in Porto, Chelsea and Internazionale. And I am sure that Real Madrid will win one of the two titles that counts in Spain next seasaon, the La Liga or Champions League. But the greatest ever? No way, José.
In my own eyes, Italian Arrigo Sacchi is the best modern coach ever, beating Rinus Michels closely, the Dutchman behind Total Football with Cruyff as the key-player in the 70’s. Sacchi started the revolution at Parma that made them a force in Italy and Europe when he, in the middle of the 80’s, took this tiny side from serie C1 to being three points from promotion to serie A, all within a year.
Sacchi’s Parma knocked out AC Milan in the Italian Cup that season and Silvio Berlusconi acted quickly and brought Sacchi to Milan.
Few thought that Berlusconi did anything right in bringing in the unexperienced and attacking-minded coach but he never looked back.
Sacchi led AC Milan to back-to-back European Cup (Champions League) titles in a club side that probably played the most beautiful football ever seen, led by van Basten, Gullit and Rijkaard. It was a new style of attacking football with a defensive midfielder as one of the corner stones.
In many ways, Sacchi brought back the attacking football to Europe. He then took over Italy and led them to the World Cup silver in 2004.
Like Sacchi, Mourinho has no big career behind him as a player. Mourinho is never shy of an answer but if he wants, he can use Sacchi’s classic answer to those who questions him: “A jockey doesn’t have to have been born a horse”.
Who do you think is the best coach in the world?