Mourinho’s secrets. “A coach who only knows football knows nothing about football.”

José Mourinho


In an interview with Forbes, Special One talked about the characteristics of the successful leader, which have their roots in psychology and emotional intelligence.

A football coach must know the game of ball, he must know how to read statistics and turn them into schemes and strategy, but above all he must be a human being with a strong emotional intelligence.

In a 2003 study, Harvard University confirmed that 80% of the skills that differentiate the best outcomes from others belong to the domain of emotional intelligence.

This is, in short, the content of the words of José Mourinho, the coach of Roma -one of the most successful and famous in circulation- interviewed by the American magazine Forbes.

Those who follow you must believe in you

“To be a good manager, the most important thing is for people to follow you. And to follow you, they must believe in you. They generally believe in you if you are empathetic and honest, ”the Special said.

José Mourinho, who a few weeks ago won the Conference League with Roma, has previously won the Primeira Liga (Portugal), the League (Spain), the Premier League (England) and Serie A (Italy).

FC Porto football team coach Jose Mourinho, senior, talks to goalkeeper Vitor Baia during a team training session at the Olympic Stadium in Seville, Spain, Tuesday, May 20, 2003 Porto will play Glasgow Celtic Scotland in the UEFA Cup final on Wednesday.  (KEYSTONE / AP Photo / Armando Franca)
Mourinho with his Porto in 2003


“In my personal case, as a leader, I know that I have a responsibility not to disappoint the people on my team. You have to be with them and for them, always. They have to trust you. ”

A coach who only knows football knows nothing about football

He could not be a professional player, the Portuguese then devoted himself to the study of caoching following in the footsteps of his father, then coach of Rio Ave.

“The lessons I learned about coaching, I would say I learned them long before I started coaching. In fact, I had a college professor who always said to me, ‘a coach who only knows football knows nothing about football’ ”.

The players are mostly men

The 59-year-old Portuguese was noted by Scottish coach Andy Roxburgh, who understood how much attention the young student paid to theoretical details, but also to motivational and psychological aspects.

“We have to know basically the human being in front of us, these are words I still use today. Footballers are not just footballers. They are men who play football and this is one of the great lessons I have learned from the beginning. . “

Chelsea captain John Terry, on the left, talks to his coach Jose Mourinho near the end of a training session at Porto's Dragao Stadium on Tuesday, February 20, 2007. Chelsea have of playing with FC Porto in the first eliminatory round of the Champions League, first.  -football match at the stadium on Wednesday.  (Photo AP / Paulo Duarte)
José Mourinho (right) and his Chelsea captain John Terry (2007)


The former coach of Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Inter, Porto and Benfica is convinced that above all we must know that we are in front of people and not robots.

“In sport there is above all a human side, which of course can also arise in business and other sectors of social life. I think that’s the most important thing that defines leadership. ”

All team members should feel important

On the keys to motivation, Mou told Forbes that “you have to know the players, know them well. They are all different and need a different way to communicate, to receive feedback, to be motivated ”.

“The most important thing is to know their nature, to know everything about them, to be able to interact with them almost individually.”

“It’s a bit like when you go to a restaurant and eat a la carte – the Setubalenc continued – you don’t have to look at them as if they were all the same, because they are all different.”

epa01466078 The Portuguese Jose Mourinho (L), coach of Inter Milan, poses for a photo with his teammates after winning the final football match of the Italian Super Cup against As Roma at the Meazza stadium in Milan , Italy, August 24, 2008. Italian Super Cup football match is played between the winner of the Italian Serie A, Inter Milan, and the winner of the Italian Cup, As Roma.  EPA / MATTEO BAZZI
Jose Mourinho (left) and his Inter in 2008


Easier said than done. How do you know who should lead a group of people, like the teacher who has 25 students in front of him in the classroom. A recipe?

“You have to make sure everyone feels important, that everyone feels part of the team and that’s why you need to get to know people very well.”

The winner of the Champions League with Porto (2003-2004) and Inter (2009-2010) is convinced, then, that the human side of the coach is the most important.

Ebrima Darboe, a 20-year-old Gambian midfielder in the service of Roma, recently praised these aspects of the Portuguese coach: “Mourinho is great and gives you a lot of motivation and advice, even off the pitch.”

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