Playing the Market: 7 of the Best Ever Jose Mourinho Signings From Throughout His Career

Jose Mourinho is embarking on what could be the most crucial season in his career. 

Failure to win the Premier League with Manchester United after two seasons of financial backing could mean failure and even the sack for the Special One.

The Red Devils have started the 2017/18 season in great form and new signings Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic and Victor Lindelof have all started strongly.

Here are seven times throughout his career Mourinho has lived up to his nickname and got his signings bang on.

7. Paulo Ferreira

MK Dons v Chelsea XI - Pre-Season Friendly

Paulo Ferreira was one of Mourinho’s first ever signings when at Porto. 

He bought him for £1.7m in 2002. Jose converted the young Portugal star from a right midfielder to a right back. 

Ferreira went on to win back to back league titles at Porto, a UEFA Cup and a Champions League title. In his two years at Porto he only missed two league games.

Jose was so proud of this signing that he signed him again when appointed Chelsea manager in 2004, this time though for £17m, which shows just how much Ferreira impressed at Porto. 

Once again Paulo would go on to achieve back to back league title wins and three in total. As well as four FA Cups, two League Cups, another Champions League title and another Europa League.

6. Mesut Ozil

Real Madrid CF v Athletic Club - La Liga

When Mourinho became manager of Real Madrid in 2010 he faced the mammoth task of trying to overhaul Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering Barcelona. 

One of the new Madrid bosses first acquisitions was Mesut Ozil, who had shone for Germany at the World Cup, for £15m. 

In Ozil’s first season Real Madrid won the Copa Del Rey, but in the league they fell just short of Barcelona’s incredible 96 points. 

The following year, Ozil played a crucial role in the Mourinho jigsaw. Scoring four goals and getting 17 assists as Madrid amassed an incredible record breaking 100 points to wrestle La Liga title back from their greatest rivals.

5. Didier Drogba

Charlton Athletic v Chelsea

Drogba is one of the Premier League’s greatest strikers and was signed by Chelsea for £24m in 2004. 

While he had a fairly slow start to life at Stamford Bridge, it was in his third season at Chelsea that he would start to become the legend we now know him to be. 

Scoring 33 goals in all competitions and winning the golden boot that season, Drogba had the highlight of netting the only goal in a 1-0 win over Manchester United in the 2007 FA Cup Final.

He would score in many finals for Chelsea, most famously in the Champions League final of 2012, and became the archetypal Mourinho striker against which all other forwards were compared

4. Ricardo Carvalho

Chelsea v Cardiff City - FA Cup 5th Round

Having played under Mourinho at Porto originally, Carvalho played twice more for the Special One – following him to Chelsea in 2004 and Real Madrid in 2010. 

It has often been said that to win league titles you need a solid defence, and the acquisition of the Portugal international proved a shrewd move on multiple occasions for Mourinho. There is simply no way a Mourinho all-time signings XI could not feature Carvalho.

3. Lucio

FBL-ITA-LAZIO-INTER

Mourinho brought in veteran Brazilian Lucio in his final (but most important) season at Internazionale in 2009 for just under £6m – an absolute bargain even if Lucio was 31 at the time.

Lucio would be pivotal that season in helping Inter achieve an historic treble ending a 45-year wait to be crowned European Champions and delivering Jose’s second Champions League title. 

If you ever want to understand what it means to play with heart and without fear just watch Lucio’s performance against Barcelona in the second leg of the semi final of the Champions League.

2. Luka Modric

Juventus v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League Final

Mourinho signed the magic Croatian in 2012 for an absolute steal at around £30m.

In his first season in the Spanish capital, Modric completed the most passes in the team and in his time at Madrid, he has so far won a league title, a Copa del Rey, three Champions Leagues and voted La Liga’s best midfielder twice.

1. Ashley Cole

Cardiff City v Chelsea - Premier League

What makes the Cole signing so significant? Well, in landing the Arsenal left back Mourinho and Chelsea managed to capture the greatest left back in the world, in his prime, on the cheap and get one over on their biggest rivals at the same time.

Cole may not be a well-loved figure in the game. However, what is undeniable even to his biggest critics, is his talent. 

If Mourinho’s signings can emulate the quality and success of Cole, Man Utd fans will probably be celebrating their first league title since Fergie.

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