On This Day: Chelsea appoint Jose Mourinho for first time as 'The Special One' changes Premier League forever

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On this day 16 years ago, Jose Mourinho was appointed by Chelsea and the Premier League changed forever.

"We have top players and, sorry if I'm arrogant, we have a top manager," was his response when asked about his new role at Stamford Bridge on June 2, 2004

Fresh from guiding Porto to Champions League triumph, Mourinho then added: "I am European champion, I am not one of the bottle. I think I am a special one."

It made English football sit up the take notice. As Sir Alex Ferguson would later recall in his autobiography: "The first time I recognised Jose Mourinho as a potential threat was at his opening press conference as Chelsea manager ... 'What a cheeky young sod', I thought."

Mourinho was the hottest property in Europe and exactly the type of figure Roman Abramovich wanted for his free-spending club after near-misses under Claudio Ranieri, sacked three days prior despite leading them to their best ever Premier League and Champions League performance.

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Abramovich's sacking of Ranieri was deemed ruthless at the time, but it was a wise choice as, with a hefty transfer budget, Mourinho delivered the success that his Russian owner craved.

He delivered back-to-back Premier League titles, an FA Cup and a League Cup before leaving in 2007. He returned six years later and won a third Premier League crown.

His relationship with Chelsea appeared to break beyond repair after subsequent jobs at Manchester United and Tottenham.

Jose Mourinho managerial honours


  • Primeira Liga (2002–03 and 2003–04)
  • Champions League (2003–04)
  • Uefa Cup (2002–03)
  • Taca de Portugal (2002–03)
  • Supertaca Candido de Oliveira (2003)


  • Premier League (2004–05, 2005–06 and 2014–15)
  • FA Cup (2006–07)
  • Football League Cup (2004–05, 2006–07 and 2014–15)
  • Community Shield (2005)

Inter Milan

  • Serie A (2008–09 and 2009–10)
  • Uefa Champions League (2009–10)
  • Coppa Italia (2009–10)
  • Supercoppa Italiana (2008)

Real Madrid

  • La Liga (2011–12)
  • Copa del Rey (2010–11)
  • Spanish Supercopa (2012)

Manchester United

  • Europa League (2016–17)
  • EFL Cup (2016–17)
  • FA Community Shield (2016)