The start of any given season can be an opportune time for an image change. There are new players at the club, maybe – or probably – a new kit, new sponsors, perhaps a new haircut, or as Spain have opted for this year, even new kick-off times.
Yet in the case of Jose Mourinho, he says he wants a new name.
Speaking to the Portuguese channel SIC, the Real Madrid Coach brought up the subject when recollecting his success across the continent.
“In England I was presented as the Special One. Thanks to God, things have gone well and whether you like it or not, I am the only one who has won the title in England, Italy and Spain,” as a grin emerged. “Maybe more than the Special One, they should start calling me the Only One.”
There may be changes ahead this year, but Mourinho’s ability to veer the headlines away his club or players and on to himself remains in tact.
The quote was, predictably, picked up and printed around the world. On the Spanish news websites it provoked more comments than any other story – not stories about Luka Modric to Madrid, nor Alex Song to Barcelona, nor Cristiano Ronaldo, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi’s duel for UEFA Player of the Year, nor unreasonable kick-off times were clicked more than that about the Mourinho quotes.
Below the news article was the typical bile spouted in the thousands of comments, with usual jibes about his translation skill and winning six titles in one year and not just in a career, in between the angrier posts in response.
Perhaps the best news we can take from the quotes is that beyond pre-season debates about transfer policy, analysing the squad and sizing up silverware ambitions, the man in the middle is still fighting fit and wants more. The game is well and truly on.
Having already suggested he ought to be called the Only One, Mourinho took it one step further, reflecting that having won ‘practically everything’ he has become ‘less and less egocentric.’
Whether Mourinho’s ego has been tempered by success is open to debate, but it proves that he is still more than willing to play this game, which he himself said is a ‘clash of the titans’. The rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona ‘obliges players and Coaches to be better’, he told SIC.
Mourinho has already put the finger into his rival’s eye before, now he’s showing that he’s more than ready to touch a nerve in the battle of the interviews. He has said this summer than he ‘doubts’ Real Madrid can match the 100 points, or indeed the 120 goals again.
Now he says he is unique. It is still all about him, he still rubs people up the wrong way, and, still he wants more. More headlines, for sure, but also more success.