Jose Mourinho proves critics wrong with youth policy

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Football News

'Jose Mourinho has no faith in youth.' It is a claim made on such numerous occasions that it has almost become cliché, and despite the countless reiterations of the statement, the truth in it remains limited.

Mourinho has showed faith in, and had a hand in the development of, several world class stars.

To be blunt, there is little truth at all in the prior statement, and here's the evidence as we delve through Mourinho's past...

SL Benfica

Breaking his managerial innocence, Mourinho's more youthful players featured prominently in affairs as he began forging his name as a respected manager.

'Keepers José Moreira and Robert Enke, aged 18 and 22 respectively, both played roles during Mourinho's one-year-tenure at the Lisbon club. Chano, Basto, Tote and Maniche, all aged between 20 and 22, also figured during Mourinho's nine-game-spell at Benfica.

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União de Leiria

At Mourinho's second club as a manager, starlets João Paulo, Freddy and Maciel, also all aged between 20 and 22, were key figured during Mourinho's spell of just over a season at the club.

FC Porto

At the club where the glamour factor of football reached the young Mourinho, youth was also prominent in his Champions League winning side.

With an average age of 26, few younger teams have claimed victory in the Champions League or European Cup, this proving that not only did José show faith in the youth, but he managed them extremely competently and successfully.

Teenagers Carlos Alberto, Hugo Almeida and Bruno Moraes featured heavily side Mourinho's side, as well as Hugo Luz and Helda Postiga aged 20. Jose Bosingwa, Cândido Costa and Ricardo Costa also contributed, aged 21.


Following his and Porto's triumph in the world's premier club competition, Mourinho joined Chelsea. Self-proclaimed 'The Special One', Mourinho was an instant success in London, winning two Premier League titles in his spell at Stamford Bridge.

Petr Čech, 22 at the time, Joe Cole, aged 21 and Arjen Robben, 20, were all star players for Mourinho. Salomon Kalou, 20 and John Obi Mikel, 17, also featured in Mourinho's squad.

The success of these players' career, Chelsea, and Mourinho himself, prove his managerial prowess.


After the end of his Chelsea tenure, Mourinho joined Inter. Despite the essentiality of the experience of Samuel Eto'o and Diego Milito in José's successes in Milan, most prominently that of his Champions League winning campaign, youngsters also played a part.

The likes of Mario Balotelli and Joel Obi featured heavily for Mourinho during his two-year-spell in Milan.

Real Madrid

Departing Inter as a resounding success, Mourinho joined arguably the biggest club side on earth, Real Madrid.

Despite mixed reviews of his managerial devices emitting from his squad, Mourinho did successfully develop the likes of Mesut Özil, Ángel dí María, Sami Khedira and Raphaël Varane, all possessing incredible talent, and have been named some of the world's best.


Somewhat poetically rejoining his beloved Chelsea, Mourinho has inspired claims that his side could become the next 'Invincibles', following in the footsteps of Arsenal's unbeaten 2003/04 side.

The likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar, André Schürrle and Thibaut Courtois are all extremely talented first team stars. As well as these players, Lewis Baker, 19, was promoted to the first team squad this summer and Dom Solanke, 17, was given a first appearance for Chelsea in last week's Champions League encounter with Maribor.


Mourinho's track record dispels all truth in claims that he hasn't displayed faith in youth over the years. The 'Special One' has played parts in the development of arguably world class stars such Dí María, Özil, Robben and Cole, as well as having a hand in the potentially world class careers of the likes of Solanke, Oscar and Hazard.

One thing, however, is for sure, and that is that Mourinho's trade is to be plied at Chelsea for the long-term, a club who is lucky to have on of the greatest managers ever deploying his tactics at Stamford Bridge.

Jose Mourinho
Premier League

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