Jose Mourinho ’s pre-eminent ascension to the summit of football has been nothing short of captivating, the Portuguese reinventing the game through his own bohemian ideology and sweeping up 13 major honors around Europe in the 12 years since his swashbuckling arrival on British shores.
It’s not just his immaculate tactical management that makes the fiery Mediterranean so irresistibly alluring; but Jose’s idiosyncratic ability to draw all attention towards himself wherever he goes is in no part down to his enticing dress sense.
Despite a reputation as a perfectionist, the epitome of meticulousness, Mourinho effortlessly oozes class and can pull off just about anything, from a debonair tuxedo piece to a training ground tracksuit – but his style has developed and matured over the last decade.
From the sleek Armani coat of 2004 to the knitted jumper under the suit jacket donned on occasion by the 53-year-old, this article takes you on a journey through time in a fascinating look at the Special One throughout his illustrious career.
2004 – “I think I’m the Special One”
It’s the 2004/05 season and Chelsea, endorsed by the disgustingly rich Roman Abramovich, have just hired Mourinho off the back of his 2004 UEFA Champions League triumph with Porto, in their search for a first league title in 50 years. The new man was in no mood for modest greetings, quickly labelling himself a “Special One”, a nickname that would stick with him forever, just as the Blues stuck to the top of the Premier League throughout the season, securing history come May.
Mourinho chooses something smart and efficient – reflective of his unyielding side that season. This grey Carhartt shirt mixed in with the Hugo Boss black jacket can help you achieve the simple but effective look that shows that you mean business.
2006 – What does a Double Champion wear?
After a two-year honeymoon period, the infatuation between Jose Mourinho and Chelsea was there for all to see; the pair remained absolutely besotted with each other. Having just won back-to-back titles and a league cup, the summer of 2006 was visibly a relaxed one for the manager, who sported a shaved head for the club’s pre-season tour to USA, as well as a grey tracksuit.
The transition from shirt to polo was practically seamless with the Iberian maestro maintaining the same spicy aura that probably made your mum feel slightly hot under the collar.
2008 – Arrivederci, London; Ciao, Milan!
Cut forward a season and a bit, things took a turn for the worst. Mourinho was unexpectedly sacked following what was probably a combination of a poor start to the 2007/08 season and some bad blood with the owner. He wouldn’t be out of a job long however, with his signature now hot property amongst Europe’s elite clubs, but it was Serie A side Internazionale who swooped to secure his services in June 2008.
Mourinho brought back the suit in Italy, but with a classy blue shirt-tie combination.
For this outfit, the blue is obviously imperative, but it helps to get a contrast going with two different shades.
This Ralph Lauren shirt helps add contrast to the already royal blue tie.
If you can’t get hold of a stripy tie like Jose’s, then there are plenty of alternatives, like the Hugo Boss piece below. Complete the look with this reversible Ralph Lauren belt, which gives a nice subtle touch.
2010 – Madrid come calling
On 22nd May 2010, Jose Mourinho reached his highest point in football to date, as he saw his Inter Milan side rise up against the odds to beat Bayern Munich at the Bernabeu, winning their third, and his second, Champions League, capping off a wonderful treble-winning season. It was to be his last, and an extremely emotional, night in charge of the Italian club before he began his fourth job in six as manager of arguably the biggest club in the world, Real Madrid.
Unlike at his last two clubs, it is difficult to pin down his preferred attire in the Spanish capital. Mourinho would literally sport something different every week, but the outfit pictured above is my favourite.
In my opinion, with this outfit, Jose nails the “smart-casual” taboo that haunts so many party guests to this day. He exudes class with the Vivienne Westwood suit trousers, while the contrasting Hugo Boss polo jumper really plays down the formality of the outfit. These Barbour Wingate suede shoes just top it off for me. You can never go wrong with suede.
2013 – Chelsea Love Affair, Pt.2
After three bipolar seasons in the Spanish capital, Jose returned to the club he adored in what was probably the worst-kept secret in the footballing world.
Just as the rats of Hamelin followed the Pied Piper out of the town, success wasn’t far behind the Special One upon his return to the Premier League. A Champions League Semi-Final in 2013/14 followed by a League and Cup double the season afterwards quashed any lingering doubts that Mourinho wasn’t the king of Stamford Bridge.
Much as at Real Madrid, Jose liked to mix and match his apparel depending on his moods. In the picture above, the Portuguese was fighting a bout of the man flu, hence his rugged demeanour, but he’d just overseen a Demba Ba-led Chelsea defeat the odds to put two past Liverpool to effectively end their hopes of a seemingly-inevitable title win. If I could, I would slip a Steven Gerrard pun in here somewhere, but that would be inappropriate.
2016 – Present Day, New Challenge
Avoiding the limelight is not one of Jose Mourinho’s strong points, and it certainly didn’t help Chelsea’s case in the 2015/16 season. Several high-profile bust-ups off the pitch left the champions in the lurch and by Christmas they sat 16th in the table. By New Year’s Day, Mourinho was out of a job.
But Jose, not one to shy away from controversy, had, as always, the last laugh. In arguably the most shocking managerial move in Premier League history, Chelsea icon and legend Mourinho became Manchester United boss in the summer of 2016.
This outfit is probably the sharpest of them all. A stunning black Tuxedo jacket with, yet again, a Hugo Boss tie made Jose look a million dollars as he begins the new chapter in his life.
Written By Cian Woulfe