Former Chelsea and England captain John Terry has labelled Jose Mourinho as the best coach and manager he has ever worked with.
The Portuguese arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2004 and guided the blues to their first ever Premier League title, clocking up a record points tally (95) that still stands to this day.
He has since claimed 14 major honours since embarking on England at Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Chelsea again and Manchester United.
And Terry, speaking on Monday Night Football, made it clear that the 54-year-old was the finest coach he’s played under.
“The best manager and coach I worked with was Mourinho,” he said. “He was the first one to come in and revolutionise things at Chelsea.”
“You would come in at 8am and he would be the one setting the cones out. He was out there in the pouring rain, getting his session ready.
“He would have four grids of the pitch and we would move from that one to that one and between each one there were drinks. We would train for an hour and we would move from there, to there to there.
“He brought three young kids in as ball-boys and every time the ball went out of play, another one came back in instantly. If there was a bad pass or a bad roll from one of his staff, he went berserk and it was embarrassing for them. His standards were so high. From the players, his medical team, he was on everything.
“His attention to detail was incredible and he changed the way I thought about football. The first session when he came in and at the end of it, the lads thought, wow that was a session.
“Mentally and psychologically, he had us from day one. We bought in to whatever he was going to deliver that day and he was the same when he came back. Having his presence there was enough. He had his eyes on everyone and when he speaks no one messes about or plays with a ball. You listen to him, he was the boss.
“I would give everything for him. I would leave that pitch in a coffin for him and every player felt the same.”
There have always been two sides to Mourinho: the first, and most documented, side was first seen by the world at Old Trafford when the lean, cut maverick sprinted down the touchline to celebrate with his Porto players, setting the tone for a career hallmarked in the public eye by a demeanour that relishes the ‘public eye’ like no other, disregarding the basic rules of human decency and sometimes even killing the bravado of an occasion in pursuit of his own Macbethean theatre.
And then there is the other side, this time highlighted by Terry and so regularly pointed to by players past and present – the side actually responsible for the constant stream of trophies since 2003. Always adapting, always scrutinising, always learning, always giving everything to protect and advance his group.
Sometimes these two sides can become unhealthily conflated, and therein lies his eventual downfall – the only exception being Porto and Inter Milan – that could indeed jeopardise his time at Old Trafford further down the line.
Regardless, what we are witnessing here – whether you like it or not – is the ‘Special One’ in action.