Jose Mourinho has done it all throughout his illustrious career. He’s won eight league titles across Portugal, England, Spain and Italy, won the Champions League with Porto and Inter Milan and even helped underdog Manchester United win the Europa League. But only one match ever made Jose Mourinho cry.
Mourinho’s career has seen him take charge of some of the biggest clubs in the world and also Tottenham. He’s won big with Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid. As with any coach, he’s also had his share of failures, such as his ignominious exits from just about every club he’s ever coached.
But only one moment in his career brought him to tears.
In a recent interview with Marca, Mourinho revealed the only time he ever cried after a match was in 2012, when his Real Madrid side, seeking its record 10th Champions League trophy, was ousted on penalty kicks in the semifinals by Bayern Munich.
“That season, Real Madrid were the best team in Spain and also the best in Europe,” he said. “That’s why it was so hard for us to deal with going out to Bayern in the Champions League. That night is the only time in my career as a coach that I’ve cried after a defeat. I remember it well. (Assistant coach) Aitor (Karanka) and I pulled up in front of my house, in the car, crying. It was very hard because we were the best that season. We had a very clearly defined playing identity. We were always very well organized defensively above anything else on the pitch and everyone knew exactly what they had to do. And we were capable of making transitions that were very explosive, quick and direct towards the objective, always looking towards the goal with connections that were almost unstoppable. The truth is that team deserved to win La Liga and the Champions League.”
Real’s defeat to Bayern was heartbreaking from a Madrid perspective. The club was under immense pressure to bring home La Decima after a 2-1 first-leg defeat in Munich. In the second leg, Ronaldo scored twice in the first 14 minutes to put Los Blancos in front. An Arjen Robben penalty drew the sides level on aggregate in the 27th minute and neither team could break the deadlock.
In the shootout, Manuel Neuer brilliantly denied Ronaldo and Kaká while Iker Casillas had strong saves on Toni Kroos and Phillip Lahm, but only after David Alaba and Mario Gómez had struck true. After Sergio Ramos blasted his attempt into outer orbit, Bastian Schweinsteiger sent Bayern to the final in one of the most memorable Champions League semifinals ever.
Bayern Munich went on to lose to Chelsea (also on penalties) in the final at Allianz Arena a few weeks later, the Blues winning the long-coveted big-eared trophy Mourinho was never able to deliver Roman Abramovich.
Real would get its revenge on Bayern in the years to come, but only after Mourinho had left the club. Los Blancos beat the Bavarians in the 2014 semifinals, 2017 quarterfinals and 2018 semifinals, going on to win it all each time.