Jump directly to the content

News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services.

DREAM TEAM

Your Sun

A News UK Company
TOP
on a budget

Remembering the hidden gems who won Jose Mourinho his first Champions League trophy

Proof that the Special One hasn't always had to break the bank to bring home success

It’s common knowledge that Jose Mourinho is one of the biggest spending managers in world football.

His spells at Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Manchester United have brought about success, although all have been boasted by a near-bottomless pit of money to spend with relative freedom.

Remember that time discount Donald Trump was at Mourinho’s Chelsea unveiling?

EPA
10
Remember that time discount Donald Trump was at Mourinho’s Chelsea unveiling?

But Mourinho’s first great success came when he barely had two cents to rub together

We’re talking, of course, about his spell at FC Porto, when the Special One won his first Champions League trophy.

Feel the love

Getty Images - Getty
10
Feel the love

We have a lot of great memories of the 2003–04 Champions League campaign, but Mourinho bursting down the touchline at Old Trafford in the Round of 16 remains our favourite.

But perhaps what’s even more incredible is the pittance the Portuguese master spent in the summer prior to his breakout season.

A backbone of hidden gems

Mourinho arrived at Porto in January 2002, with the side down in fifth place in the Portuguese Primeira Liga.

But the fallen giants quickly rejuvenated under the brilliance of the enigmatic coach and finished the season strongly in third place – picking up 11 wins out of a possible 15.

First of many

Reuters
10
First of many

In his first full season in charge – and his first full campaign as a manager, no less – Mourinho duly took Porto to the league title with nearly a month to spare.

The title was won with an incredible backbone of talent such as Ricardo Carvalho, Paolo Ferreira, Deco and Costinha.

First taste of European success

Mourinho inherited an incredible squad of hidden gems at Porto, which only needed some minor fine-tuning.

Derlei and Nuno Valente had been brought in from his previous club Leira, Maniche joined as a free agent, Ferreira was signed for measly £1.8million and Jorge Costa returned from a loan spell at Charlton.

Weight on his shoulder

EPA
10
Weight on his shoulder

All played a major role in Mourinho’s first major European honour; the UEFA Cup.

Up against Martin O’Neil’s Celtic side, Porto won the 2003 final in Seville 3-2, with Derlei grabbing a brace.

The building blocks

The following summer, Mourinho strengthened his side in several key areas, thanks largely to the money they received from Tottenham for striker Helder Postiga.

Remember him?

 

AP:Associated Press
10

Mourinho brought in a number of new faces, but perhaps the most notable were Benni McCarthy, Carlos Alberto and Jose Bosingwa.

In total, Mourinho spent just £9.45m on new signings.

To give that some context, Real Madrid spent well-over double that amount on David Beckham alone, while Man United (£50.9m on the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kleberson, Tim Howard and more) and Chelsea (£150m) were among that summer’s biggest spenders.

Golden Balls

Reuters
10
Golden Balls

While young Bosingwa’s importance to Porto came later, McCarthy and Alberto would each play big roles in Porto’s forthcoming campaign.

Signed for just £3m from Spanish side Celta Vigo, McCarthy won the Golden Boot and notably scored twice against Man United in the Round of 16.

Famously, when Alex Ferguson bemoaned Porto’s tactics in the aftermath of the defeat, Mourinho responded: “I understand why he is a bit emotional.

“You would be sad if your team gets as clearly dominated by opponents who have been built on 10% of the budget.”

You got served

AFP
10
You got served

The teenager from Brazil 

Perhaps the biggest star of Mourinho’s final year at Porto was Carlos Alberto.

The young Brazilian joined the Portuguese side in January 2004 for a paltry sum of £2m from Fluminense, and quickly established himself in Mourinho’s first-team.

Virtually unknown in Europe upon his arrival, the teenager played a key role in the Champions League final against Monaco, hitting a delightful volley to give Porto the lead, becoming the third youngest scorer in the history of the competition.

What became of him?

Getty - Contributor
10
What became of him?

Of course, the comparisons with Pele quickly came pouring in and the 19-year-old was drafted into the Brazil national team, although he quickly fell into obscurity, falling out of favour at Porto following Mourinho’s departure and joining Corinthians, ultimately failing to recapture his early promise at a host of different clubs.

Moving on 

New love

AFP
10
New love

Mourinho’s departure to Chelsea in the summer of 2004 saw wholesale changes made to the victorious Porto side.

Carvalho and Ferreira followed him to Chelsea, Deco went off to Barcelona and enjoyed further success, Derlei headed to Dynamo Moscow, Carlos Alberto went back to Brazil six months later and Dmitri Alenichev – the unsung hero of Porto’s brilliant two seasons under Mourinho – returned to Spartak Moscow.

Deco won further honours at Barcelona – including the Champions League

AFP
10
Deco won further honours at Barcelona – including the Champions League

With so much change, the club picked up just a single trophy the following season; the Intercontinental Cup.

But with so many players leaving the club, the likes of Ricardo Quaresma, Pepe, and Raul Meireles were brought in to become stars of the future.

Wonder whatever happened to that Mourinho fella after that?


⚽CONTE OUT: The bookie's view⚽