Jose Mourinho has enjoyed a managerial career in which he’s won the biggest prizes club football has to offer, along the way giving team talks that have inspired his players to victory on the game’s biggest stages.
But the Manchester United boss has now revealed to RT exactly which of his half-time talks stands out as being the most inspirational.
The Portuguese has won Champions League titles at Porto and Inter Milan, as well as numerous league and cup titles in England, Spain, Italy and Portugal.
He says a team talk he delivered while manager at Italian giants Inter stands out as being his most inspirational.
It came on a freezing cold November night in 2009, when Inter were taking on Dynamo Kiev in a crucial Champions League group stage game at the Valeri Lobanovski Stadium in the Ukrainian capital.
The Italians were locked in a battle to qualify from a difficult group containing Dynamo Kiev, Barcelona, and Russian team Rubin Kazan.
After three draws in their opening three group games, Inter were facing the very real prospect of not making it to the knockout stages.
To compound matters, they found themselves 1-0 down in Kiev, after a first-half goal from Andriy Shevchenko, leaving them rock bottom of the group.
Mourinho knew he had to step up at half time to rouse the team into a comeback and salvage their chances of continuing in Europe's biggest club competition.
“[It] was the game of the [Champions League] group phase in Kiev, where if we don’t win we are out, and not even to draw, we need to win, and at half time were losing in Kiev,” Mourinho told RT.
“And I reckon that half-time talk was one where I gave everything from myself, not just the tactical changes that we made, but especially by the emotional, psychological point of view.
“It was a moment where I gave absolutely everything, and we won that match in minute 93 or 94, we qualified with that victory.”
While Mourinho’s recollection of the minutes the goals came in was slightly off – Inter actually snatched victory thanks to goals from Diego Milito and Wesley Sneijder in the 86th and 89th minutes – he was spot on with what the result meant for the team.
“From that moment, we went to win the Champions League,” he said, recalling the campaign in which a largely unfancied Inter team went on to defeat German giants Bayern Munich 2-0 in the final, having made it out of the group and knocking out Chelsea, CSKA Moscow and Barcelona on their way to the grand finale in Madrid.
As well as sharing his proudest team talk moment, Mourinho also shed light on how he approaches the task of managing some of football’s biggest names.
He is currently the boss of French star Paul Pogba, Chile’s Alexis Sanchez, and Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea at Manchester United, and has formerly managed modern greats such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Mourinho says, however, that he is not overawed by big egos, and instead treats players equally regardless of their supposed status.
“You know, I don’t have problems with what you call the special players,” Mourinho said.
“I always look at them, all of them are the same, if they are different because their talent is different, at the end of the month they feel they are different, because one gets 10,000 (pounds) a month, another one gets 100,000, and one gets a million, that’s the moment where they feel the difference, because they cannot feel the difference with me, for me every player is the same."
“With players it has to be the same, just treat them equally, and then the players with less talent you have to make them realize that a team is made up of everyone, and everyone has a role to play.”
Mourinho has provided exclusive insights to RT in his role as a special guest pundit during the World Cup in Russia, and will continue to give his thoughts as the tournament enters the crucial knockout stage.