Despite his ongoing struggle at Manchester United, not one person can deny the absolute fact that Jose Mourinho is a winner. The Special One has won a title in each and every country he has managed in, and he has done so by building some enormously effective and world-class rosters.
Even in England, the Portuguese tactician has managed to win the Premier League on three occasions with the help of some supremely talented footballers at Chelsea – a feat he aspires to emulate again with the Red Devils.
Let us take a look at eleven of the best players Mourinho has coached during the time he has spent in England’s top tier so far:
GK: David De Gea
The Spaniard has perhaps been the most reliable player for Jose Mourinho since he took the helm in Manchester. Hailed by most as the best shot-stopper on the planet at present, De Gea slightly edges past Petr Cech to make it to the list, strictly due to his overall individual superiority.
RB: Branislav Ivanovic
A firm presence in the Chelsea defence during Mourinho’s second spell in England, Ivanovic shared a good working relationship with his gaffer, having admitted that the Portuguese made him fulfill the potential he himself was unaware of possessing.
CB: Ricardo Carvalho
One of Mourinho’s most reliable recruits. The Portuguese centre-back worked under Jose at Porto before the gaffer brought him along to Chelsea as well. And after spending 6 successful years at the Bridge, Carvalho was once again snapped up by his fellow compatriot, this time to add some experience to the Real Madrid defence.
CB: John Terry
LB: Ashley Cole
Did not play a lot under the Portuguese tactician, but still the best left-back to have featured for a Jose Mourinho team in the Premier League so far.
CDM: Claude Makelele
Mourinho literally redefined English football by fielding Claude Makelele in a defensive midfield position in his newly-introduced 4-3-3, which has since been named ‘The Makelele Role’. The Frenchman played an extremely crucial part during Jose’s first stint at the London club.
CM: Michael Essien
CM: Frank Lampard
Played under Mourinho during both his spells as the Blues’ boss, but starred primarily in the first. Developed into one of the best central midfielders of his generation under Jose’s management.
RF: Wayne Rooney
A player Mourinho wanted to sign whilst at the helms of Real Madrid as well as Chelsea, but finally got to work with after joining Manchester United. The Englishman served Jose well, helping him win three trophies during his first season in-charge at Old Trafford.
LF: Eden Hazard
The Belgian wizard played a vital role in aiding Mourinho win the league after his return to England. And despite having parted ways on a sour note, Hazard did admit the following in a recent interview: “I don’t regret many things in my career, but that I have not been able to work with Mourinho at Chelsea anymore is one of them.”
Striker: Didier Drogba
Another player Mourinho describes as his son, the Ivory Coast striker was brought to Chelsea by Mourinho on two separate occasions. Always a lethal presence in Jose’s offensive line, the duo won three Premier League titles together, the latter two being 9 years apart.