Jose Mourinho has coached some of the world’s greatest players over the course of his career, thanks to spells at Porto, Chelsea, Internazionale, Real Madrid, and Manchester United.
And, naturally, that means he’s also bought and sold some of the finest around – and not every decision turned out to be the right one.
We’re having a look at Mourinho’s sales here as we build the best XI we can from those he shipped off during his career.
Credit to Planet Football for the idea – their XI is hard to argue with but we’ve tweaked it.
Mourinho did everything he could to get Iker Casillas out the door at Real but never managed it himself. That makes Cech an easy winner in goal. One of the greatest Premier League goalkeepers ever, the boss moved him on to Arsenal in 2015, where he’d play over 100 more games.
He was far from the finished article at Chelsea but he kicked on a ton with Portsmouth after leaving in 2007. Johnson would be Pompey’s Player of the Year just two years later, as well as making the PFA Team of the Year.
Gallas played 34 Premier League games in his final season but left in 2006 as part of the deal to take Ashley Cole to Chelsea. He’d go on to captain Arsenal, playing another seven years in North London between the Gunners and Tottenham Hotspur.
Bizarrely, Gallas isn’t the only centre-half who Mourinho offloaded in a trade. Bonucci – and three other players – left Inter in 2009 to join Genoa, with Diego Milito and Thiago Motta heading the other way. It was an awful decision, of course. Bonucci has now won seven Serie A titles with Juventus.
He had a brilliant 13/14 with Atletico Madrid but couldn’t break into the first-team at Chelsea. One season – and one League title – later, the Brazilian went back to Atletico.
Salah never really got a chance under Mourinho and it was only 12 months after signing that he was off to Italy on loan with options to buy. He’d leave for Roma, eventually – safe to say the boss got this one very, very wrong.
Kevin de Bruyne
Somehow, De Bruyne got even fewer chances. Mourinho gave him six months and nine games to earn a Chelsea place before selling him to Wolfsburg the January after he arrived. Possibly even more wrong than the Salah decision.
A strange one, really. Mata was Chelsea’s Player of the Year the last two seasons as the club won the Champions League, Europa League, and FA Cup. Mourinho sold him to United after just six months, though.
Robben was initially a revelation with Chelsea but injuries held him back. When he wanted to go to Real Madrid in 2007, then, the club accepted a £24m offer. One that looks a lot worse in hindsight than it did at the time.
The Belgian was a Chelsea player for three years but never actually scored for them. That time was mostly spent out on loan, where Mourinho clearly wasn’t too impressed and sold him to Everton in 2014. He must have liked that spell more, though, as he’d eventually buy him for £75m at United.
Mourinho sold his best player at Inter in what is one of the greatest sales of all time. They got Samuel Eto’o as a part of the deal and then used the cash to bring in Milito, Motta, Lucio and Westley Sneijder. One season later, they’re Treble winners. Brilliant.
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