Jose Mourinho is one of the greatest managers of all time.
Yes, we're well aware that the 'Special One' hasn't really been the same since his Chelsea return fell apart at the seams, but the early part of his managerial career is world-class beyond dispute.
Having won every trophy under the sun at FC Porto, Mourinho took to the Premier League like a duck to water, wrestling the title away from Arsenal's 'Invincibles' with a record-breaking defensive record.
Mourinho in Italy
And by the time he returned to the dugout with Inter Milan in 2008 after parting ways with Chelsea, Mourinho was still rightfully revered as one of the finest coaches in the beautiful game.
In fact, while Mourinho might have only spent 18 months in the San Siro dugout, it was arguably the most successful stint of his entire career, securing a historic treble in his only full season in charge.
Now, on paper, winning Serie A and the Coppa Italia might not sound all that impressive in Inter's era of dominance, but it was the Champions League triumph that particularly stood out for Mourinho.
Inter Milan vs Barcelona
In truth, by the time Inter locked horns with Bayern Munich in the final, 'Big Ears' was already in the bag with Diego Milito scoring twice in a Bernabeu climax that Mourinho never looked like losing.
And it was the semi-final war with Pep Guardiola's Barcelona, who were objectively the world's best team at the time, that secured European glory with Inter battling their way to a 3-2 aggregate win.
The 1-0 second leg 'defeat' at Camp Nou lives long in the memory, sure, but it was Mourinho's 3-1 masterclass in the opening tie in Milan that will go down as one of his greatest ever results.
Mourinho's tactical masterclass
As such, it only makes sense that when The Coaches' Voice sat down with Mourinho in 2019 to discusses his tactical approach that it was the 3-1 win over Guardiola that they focused on.
And with the Blaugrana's omnipotent squad of Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta and Xavi put to the sword in dramatic fashion, it was fascinating to hear about Mourinho's game plan.
From the best way to stifle Messi himself to exploiting the attack-minded Maxwell and Dani Alves, Mourinho really did have his tactics bang on the money, so be sure to check out the video below:
Take a bow, Jose, take a bow.
Don't write off Mourinho
It's easy to lose faith in Mourinho when you hear reports about archaic training drills and outdated strategies, but the above video couldn't make the Portuguese's tactical genius and nous any clearer.
And it ultimately laid the groundwork for one of the most fascinating narratives of Mourinho's career, going on to lock horns with Guardiola on a biannual basis as Real Madrid manager.
One could argue that Guardiola's ultimate superiority marked the beginning of Mourinho's decline, but make no mistake that he was always capable of pulling off a tactical masterclass.
Besides, we wouldn't blame you for thinking that the very Barcelona side that Mourinho pulled the rug from underneath was the greatest to ever play the game.News Now - Sport News