Mourinho unmasked: Why ‘The Special One’ needs to feel loved again

Story highlights

Jose Mourinho is returning to coach Chelsea six years after leaving London

The Portuguese coach's three-year tenure at Real Madrid ended in failure

Mourinho ready to build a dynasty at Chelsea, according to a Portuguese journalist

One of his former players says Mourinho is perfectly suited to English football

CNN  — 

“The English media created an icon, an almost perfect human being.” - soccer agent Paulo Texeira.

Above all else, Jose Mourinho just needs to feel loved again.

It has been in short supply during the final, painful throes of his tempestuous tenure as coach of Real Madrid.

Beaten to the La Liga title by Barcelona, blasted out of the Champions League by Borussia Dortmund and battered by the press in Madrid, this is a season he’s decried as the worst of his career.

The 50-year-old leaves looking visibly drained, with dissent dripping from the dressing room and insults ringing in his ears, rivals lamenting him as a “scourge” on Spanish football.

Read: Mourinho returns to Chelsea

Little wonder then that Mourinho has opted for a return to Chelsea, the English side that helped the Portuguese etch his name into the fabric of modern football folklore as “The Special One.”

For a man who seems determined to forge new frontiers and embrace different cultures around the continent his desire for a second stint at Stamford Bridge has come as a surprise to many.

But according to Portuguese journalist Jose Carlos Freitas, Mourinho’s latest move is down to the concept of pater familias; having reached a stage in his career where he wants to mold a club in his image for the long term.

“I think he is ready to come back to Chelsea in a different way, to try and build something from zero,” Freitas, a reporter at the Record newspaper, told CNN.

“It will be a challenge to rebuild Chelsea’s team. This might be the job that keeps him there for five or 10 years. He needs to be the number one guy in the club, not only winning but thinking about the club, changing it, preparing it.

“When Mourinho was starting his career he wanted to win things – leagues, cups and the Champions League – but now he has achieved this status in his career where he needs more.

“I see this might be a great chance for him to finally have a real connection with (Chelsea’s billionaire Russian owner Roman Abramovich) in the way that they can build a Chelsea to look like Manchester United did under Alex Ferguson.”

Read: Mourinho: “Worst season of my career”

Freitas agrees that Mourinho’s time at Real will have chastened the coach who famously anointed himself as “special.”

Three years in Spain have brought a hat-trick of domestic trophies, including a league title that broke Barcelona’s dominance under Pep Guardiola, but, crucially, not the 10th European Champions League crown their fervent fans crave.

Growls of disquiet had been audible for a while but as soon as Real’s quest for “La Decima” ended, it became a crescendo.

Mourinho spoke of the people in Spain who “hated” him and confirmation of his departure led Barcelona vice-president Carles Vilarrubi to declare him a “scourge on Spanish football” in a radio interview.