Good relationship with players will only get you so far – Mourinho
Mourinho praised Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and Spurs counterpart Mauricio Pochettino after they guided their teams to an all-English final in June's European club showpiece.
Liverpool and Spurs both mounted astonishing comebacks this week to see off Barcelona and Ajax in their respective semi-finals, with much of the credit going to inspirational managers Klopp and Pochettino.
Speaking to RT in his role as a pundit, Mourinho said the Premier League clubs had found a winning formula that fused solidarity between the manager, players and fans – and that it was very much a truimph of the collective rather than individuals.
“This final [Liverpool and Tottenham] – even bringing Ajax into the equation, because they were fantastic – goes in favor of the people that think no player is more important than the team, in favor of people who think that there are things in football that should not be negotiable.
“The empathy, the solidarity, no selfishness, no individuality. This goes in favor of the people who see football in this perspective," Mourinho said.
He added that charisma and good player rapport will only get you so far as a manager, but that success was backed up by more than that.
“The big teams, they always have a big ethic.
“Sometimes you think, ‘oh, this manager is a nice guy, this manager has a nice relation with the players, oh the players they like the manager.’
“This lasts a couple of months. After that, you need a coach, a leader, a structure behind. And Tottenham, Liverpool, and also Ajax, they represent very well this perfect equation of success."
The latter comments seem particularly pertinent when considering the plight of Mourinho’s former club Manchester United.
After enjoying an initial uptick under Mourinho’s successor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who was praised for his impact in lifting the players, the team have stumbled disastrously towards the end of the season since making the Norwegian’s appointment permanent.
United are now said to be considering a summer overhaul which could see the likes of midfield star Paul Pogba depart as well as big-money flop Alexis Sanchez, while the appointment of a director of football is also seen as vital to reversing the club’s fortunes.
But Mourinho was at least mindful of his former club when praising Klopp and their bitter rivals, saying: “I’m really pleased for Jurgen [Klopp] as a colleague, I’m not speaking about clubs, I don’t want Manchester United fans to be upset with me.”
You can get all of Mourinho's thoughts on this week's incredible Champions League drama in the full episode of 'On the Touchline with Jose Mourinho' here: