Jose Mourinho can't escape the headlines after his Manchester United sacking this week.
After a worried third season at Old Trafford, the powers that be decided defeat to Liverpool was the final straw and he contract was swiftly terminated. Reports suggest Mourinho will bag over £20 million in compensation for his departure and the Red Devils have temporarily installed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as his replacement.
The club announced the news with a brief statement on Tuesday morning, writing: "Manchester United announces that manager Jose Mourinho has left the club with immediate effect. The club would like to thank Jose for his work during his time at Manchester United and to wish him success in the future."
It's another blow in the recent career of Mourinho, who was sacked by Chelsea almost two years ago to the day and bowed out of Real Madrid in similarly controversial circumstances. Nevertheless, his remarkable trophy cabinet and past performances still make him one of the most widely revered managers in European football.
So, it won't be long until speculation begins to link him with top clubs going forward and Mourinho is never far from the dug-out for more than a few months. Any new job would present its unique challenges and Mourinho would have to adapt to the new batch of players, hoping to avoid the same arguments that piled up at United.
Special One FC
Reported fall-outs with players like Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial began to cause a toxic atmosphere at the club, a striking antithesis to relationships he formed at previous clubs. You only need to ask Chelsea fans to recall the brilliant partnerships he built at Stamford Bridge or reminisce on footage of Inter Milan players crying upon his exit.
And no matter how many arguments Mourinho was involved in throughout his career, he always built those kind of bonds that saw players become known as 'untouchables.' Like many managers, Mourinho had his favourites and his United departure marks a fitting juncture to reflect upon this declining breed of player.
That considered, GiveMeSport have sought to draw up Mourinho's perfect XI from all of his clubs and imagine what the team would look like if he started 'The Special One FC.' It's not necessarily using the best players he's managed, but his personal favourites, so pass on our apologies to Cristiano Ronaldo, Luke Shaw and Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Check out the full team down below:
Undoubtedly one of the toughest positions to pick in the team, but we could certainly rule out Iker Casillas straight off the bat. Cech was in his prime during Mourinho's first spell at Chelsea and collected clean sheets like they were going out of fashion during the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons.
He was an almost immovable part of that Chelsea team's spine, brought in by Mourinho himself and came close to 200 appearances under his management. Although the 'Special One' brought about his Chelsea exit by introducing Thibaut Courtois, their incredible relationship on and off the pitch makes him the perfect man for Mourinho's team.
You know you're a favourite of Mourinho when he moves training sessions because you're drunk on Monday mornings. Well that's exactly what the Portuguese organised for Maicon during their incredibly successful run at Inter Milan, according to former player Ianis Zicu, at least.
The Brazilian became the best right-back in the world under Mourinho's management, forming a superb back four with Lucio, Walter Samuel and Cristian Chivu. Although Mourinho never brought him elsewhere, Maicon was given 90 appearances by the coach and won five trophies - including the Champions League - across less than two seasons.
That half-time substitution against Manchester City aside, it just couldn't be anybody other than Terry. Old footage of Mourinho hugging him after Chelsea matches just goes to demonstrate their close relationship as captain and manager over the years. Terry himself remarked during a 2017 interview: "He was the best manager, and the best coach as well. He did everything."
Even years after that glorious first spell at Chelsea, though, Mourinho almost certainly extended Terry's career by investing complete trust in him upon his return. At age 34, Terry was made to look like a world-beater under Mourinho - making 49 appearances - and he had another Premier League title to show for it.
The only player to be managed by Mourinho across three separate teams would be guaranteed a place in this team. Carvalho was part of the incredible Porto team that won the Champions League in 2004 and followed Mourinho to Chelsea that very same summer.
The Portuguese defender would eventually outlast his manager at Stamford Bridge, but they won two Premier League titles, two League Cups and the FA Cup together. Mourinho would once again come calling in 2010, signing him for Real Madrid and all of Carvalho's outings at the Bernabeu came under the 'Special One.'
Definitely one of the more obscure inclusions in the team, but Mourinho and Valente have a working relationship going back over 17 years. The pair worked together at Uniao de Leiria - only Mourinho's second job in management - and both made the transition to Porto in the summer of 2002.
Although Valente didn't feature in the cohort of Porto players who moved to Chelsea, he was an absolute staple at the Estadio do Dragao. The reliable left-back was selected for the 2004 Champions League final and his career wouldn't have reached the same heights without Mourinho's influence.
Manchester United could have been hammered 7-0 at home by Accrington Stanley with a hat-trick of Fellaini own goals to boot, and Mourinho would probably still praise him in the post-match interview. Whether United fans appreciated it or not, the Belgian midfielder undoubtedly became one of Mourinho's 'untouchables' at Old Trafford and was used in a variety of big games.
With the recent sacking of Mourinho, certain United chiefs might be regretting the new contract for Fellaini but he bailed out the Red Devils on a number of occasions since 2016. Don't be surprised if the 31-year-old finds himself on the transfer list of wherever Mourinho moves to next.
Another player who followed Mourinho to a number of clubs, being signed by the Portuguese at both Chelsea and even Real Madrid. Of all the players in the team, we're not sure Mourinho had a bigger 'bromance' than he did with the Ghanian, even drawing comparisons to a father-son relationship.
Mourinho explained during an interview in May: “He was not my player. He is my son. I am his white daddy. I understand why as a player he was ready to die for the players, club and manager.” Do we need anymore evidence than that? The only discrepancy is that Essien's Chelsea career ended under the very same manager who started it, but a move to AC Milan was the best for both parties.
No matter what Mourinho goes on to achieve in his career, that first spell at Chelsea will always be considered his finest tenure and Lampard was a huge part of that success. Blues fans will never forget the moment Lampard scored at the Reebok Stadium, wrapping up the title in an almost perfect first season for Mourinho.
Along with Terry, Lampard was an invaluable member of the Chelsea spine that made them such an enviable team unit and formed a unique bond with their manager. It's no coincidence that Lampard's goal-scoring hit the heights we so fondly remember when Mourinho walked through the door at Stamford Bridge.
Just like Fellaini, Matic was there at the very end of Mourinho's spell at United and seemed to endure in the starting XI no matter how badly his performances were criticised. Nevertheless, when the then Chelsea boss decided to bring Matic back to the Premier League, it proved an inspired decision and the Serbian was a crucial component in the title victory of 2015.
Surprisingly bringing him to Old Trafford in 2017 dispelled any animosity from the infamous sub-sub against Southampton and he quickly became a constant in the United team. It's no surprise that - according to the Mirror - Matic was one of two players to back Mourinho just before his eventual sacking.
The charismatic Swede formed a close bond with Mourinho during their short time together at Inter Milan and it was only fitting that they reunited seven years later. Ibrahimovic waxed lyrical about the 55-year-old in his autobiography and must have wished he stayed at the San Siro for one more year.
That being said, his high-profile move to Manchester United coincided with Mourinho's most successful season at the club with victories in the League Cup and Europa League. The strength of their relationship was summed up the decision to extend Ibrahimovic's contract, despite serious injury; showing a genuine investment in his player's career.
Mourinho seemed to have a soft spot for strikers throughout his career, but it would be a crime to abandon that impeccable Chelsea spine from his first spell. It was a rallying speech from Mourinho that prevented the Ivorian from leaving after just one season and he rewarded his manager's faith with the Premier League Golden Boot in 2007.
Even after seemingly unwinding his career with Shanghai Shenhua and Galatasaray, Drogba still answered the call of Mourinho in 2014. He wasn't the same striker, but remained a crucial influence in the dressing room and held aloft a final Premier League title with his favourite coach of all.
David de Gea - Mourinho had plenty to thank his number one for across three seasons at United and the pair seemed to maintain a solid relationship through thick and thin.
Paulo Ferreira - another player who owes so much to Mourinho for improving their career, Ferreira became top right-back under his gaze and immediately followed him to Chelsea.
Maniche - there aren't many players who have been managed by Mourinho at different clubs, but Maniche joined the list with a brief Chelsea spell after all that success at Porto.
Claude Makelele - an integral part of that indomitable Chelsea team of 2004-06 and Mourinho even allowed him to take a late penalty during the final home game in 2005.
Samuel Eto'o - barring the infamous 'old man' comment at Chelsea, Mourinho could always rely on the Cameroonian striker and he certainly delivered the goals with Inter Milan.
Romelu Lukaku - the pair certainly got off on the wrong foot at Stamford Bridge, but the Belgian quickly became a guaranteed starter at United despite all those dodgy first touches.
Diego Milito - the Argentine owes so much to Mourinho and those glorious 18 months at Inter Milan, with the 'Special One' plucking him from relative obscurity and reaping the benefits.
So, there you have it, a remarkable looking XI of Mourinho's 'untouchables.'
It certainly wouldn't be considered the greatest team he managed throughout his career, but there would be no chances of bust-ups or controversy in this team. They all had an incredibly close bond with Mourinho and will always be remembered as one of the Portuguese's favourites.
Many have now hung up their boots and moved on to pastures new, but you can bet some of them will be pinned to transfer rumours when Mourinho makes his next move. The list of 'untouchables' will only increase in the future, so everyone from Fellaini to Valente will have to look over their shoulders in this hypothetical team.
We're not sure 'The Special One FC' would enjoy much success, but they'd certainly back the manager.
Who do you think Mourinho has favoured the most in his career? Have your say in the comments section below.