José Mourinho’s Real Madrid: Domination, Controversy, and Legacy

José Mourinho’s arrival at Real Madrid in 2010 marked the beginning of a turbulent yet undeniably successful chapter in the club’s history. 

The “Special One,” known for his pragmatic, defensive style and winning mentality, was tasked with dethroning the dominant Barcelona side and restoring Real Madrid’s lost glory. 

Mourinho’s time at Real Madrid was a wild ride. He won some trophies but also caused a lot of drama. When he left, people were still unsure about his legacy at the club.

For me, Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid was truly the beginning of an era.

Real Madrid under Jose Mourinho 

The Appointment and the Transformation 

After a disappointing season, Real Madrid decided it was time for a change. They appointed José Mourinho as their new manager.

Mourinho had just led Inter Milan to a treble, so the fans were excited to see what he could do.

Mourinho made an immediate impact. He instilled a new sense of discipline and tactical organization in the team. This was something they had been lacking before.

Mourinho built a robust defensive system around star players like Iker Casillas, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, and Xabi Alonso. This solid foundation allowed the team to thrive in attack.

With this defensive structure in place, Real Madrid became one of the most devastating counter-attacking teams in football.

Their attacking talents like Mesut Ozil, Gonzalo Higuain, Karim Benzema, and Cristiano Ronaldo flourished.

Trophies Galore and El Clásico Rivalry:

During Mourinho’s time at Real Madrid, the team was very successful in winning trophies. In his three seasons as manager, he led them to three major titles.

The biggest one was the La Liga championship in 2012, which ended Barcelona’s three-year reign at the top of the league. He also won the Copa del Rey in 2011 and the Spanish Super Cup in 2012.

The 2011-12 season was an incredible one for Mourinho’s Real Madrid. That team became the first ever to reach the 100-point mark in a La Liga campaign. They were devastating on the counter-attack and scored a remarkable 121 goals that season on their way to the title.

However, the one trophy that eluded Mourinho during his time in charge was the Champions League. While they reached the semifinals of Europe’s top competition twice under his management, they were ultimately eliminated by Barcelona and Bayern Munich. This was a big disappointment for the club and its passionate fans, who craved European glory.

The rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona, known as El Clásico, was fierce during Mourinho’s tenure. These two Spanish giants battled it out for domestic and European supremacy, providing endless drama and excitement for neutral fans around the world.

Pep’s Barcelona vs Mourinho’s Real Madrid 

José Mourinho had a long history with Barcelona, and this rivalry became a defining part of his time as Real Madrid’s manager.

Mourinho took a very confrontational approach when it came to Barcelona, both on the pitch and in the media. This made the El Clásico matches between the two teams even more intense and dramatic for the fans to watch.

Despite Barcelona being the superior team at the time, Mourinho’s Real Madrid always seemed to step up when it mattered most.

They would often pull off big results against their rivals, like winning the Copa del Rey final or crucial league matches at Camp Nou.

These Clásico encounters were fiercely contested battles. They featured tactical wars, controversial refereeing decisions, and heated exchanges between the coaches and players on the field. The rivalry reached boiling point on several occasions.

The matchups between Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona and Mourinho’s Real Madrid were the most anticipated fixtures in world football during that period. Fans knew they were in for a spectacle whenever these two giants met.

Cristiano Ronaldo under Jose Mourinho 

The player who changed the most under Mourinho was Cristiano Ronaldo. Mourinho transformed Ronaldo’s game from a skilful winger into an unstoppable goalscoring machine.

This was Ronaldo at the absolute peak of his powers. He had everything – the speed, the dribbling, the flair, the free-kicks, and most importantly, the goals. He was producing this world-class level week in, week out.

Mourinho instilled an incredible work ethic in Ronaldo and focused him on being the best finisher possible. The stats show this transformation – in Mourinho’s three seasons, Ronaldo scored 168 goals and got 46 assists in just 164 games. That’s an average of 53 goals per season!

This ruthless, goal-hungry version of Ronaldo captivated fans like me. We were in awe not just of his individual brilliance, but also of the aura and success he brought to the whole Real Madrid team.

An Unfulfilled Legacy:

When Mourinho left Real Madrid in 2013, his legacy was a complicated one. On the one hand, he had delivered trophies and instilled a winning mentality in the team. He also helped Cristiano Ronaldo become one of the greatest goalscorers ever.

However, Mourinho was not able to deliver the much-awaited ‘La Decima’ to Real Madrid. This was the trophy the fans wanted the most, and it eluded Mourinho during his time in charge.


Was Mourinho successful in Real Madrid?

Mourinho’s time at Real Madrid is underrated because he went up against one of the greatest teams ever – Barcelona.

Yet, he still led Real Madrid to the La Liga title with a record 100 points. His team also scored the most goals, 121, in a single La Liga season. Mourinho achieved great success at Real Madrid, even while facing that dominant Barcelona side.

How long was Mourinho at Real Madrid?

Jose Mourinho was at Real Madrid for 3 seasons, from the 2010-11 season till the 2012-13 season.

How many trophies did Mourinho win at Real Madrid?

During his 3 seasons as Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho won 3 trophies; The La Liga , The Copa Del Rey, and the Supercopa de España.


In conclusion, José Mourinho’s time at Real Madrid was a real rollercoaster. He brought home some trophies and turned the team into a defensive powerhouse. And of course, he helped Cristiano Ronaldo reach the peak of his powers.

But Mourinho’s confrontational style and lack of focus on attacking football also caused a lot of drama and controversy within the club. This led to debates about whether he had a truly positive long-term impact.

In the end, Mourinho’s legacy at Real Madrid is a bit of a mystery. He achieved a lot of success, but there are also a lot of unresolved questions about his methods and their lasting effect on the team.

But If you ask me, Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid were definitely a success.

What do you think?

Written by Mith Panchal

Welcome to my corner of the internet, where my love for football meets the art of storytelling. I'm Mith Panchal,I make memes and write blogs here at tacklefrombehind. Most importantly I’m a crazy football addict just like you guys.

My journey in Football started in 2012 because I liked how Cristiano Ronaldo played in FIFA so out of curiosity I watched a few games of Real Madrid and Cristiano and since that day I've been a proud Madridista.

I think that every football game, every football team, and every player has a story to tell. I like to explore those stories and share the best of them with you guys through these blogs.

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