On this day in 2004: Chelsea appoint Jose Mourinho for the first time


The ‘special one’ had two spells in charge of the Blues.

Jose Mourinho was appointed Chelsea manager for the first time on June 2, 2004.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look back at his arrival.

Taking over from the Tinkerman

The Portuguese came to Stamford Bridge as a replacement for Claudio Ranieri
The Portuguese came to Stamford Bridge as a replacement for Claudio Ranieri (Chris Young/PA)

Jose Mourinho was the hottest property in Europe when he was named as Chelsea boss, three days after Claudio Ranieri had been sacked despite leading them to their best ever Premier League and Champions League performance. But new owner Roman Abramovich wanted more for his money and turned to Mourinho, a former Barcelona coach who had led Porto to Champions League glory.

The Special One

The Portuguese delivered one of the most memorable press conferences in football on his Stamford Bridge unveiling, giving a glimpse into the character that would dominate English football to this day. When talking about his credentials for the job, Mourinho said: “I have to say this, we have top players. I am sorry if I am a bit arrogant, we have a top manager. I am European champion, I am not one of the bottle. I think I am a special one.” It is a phrase that has followed him around ever since.

Instant success

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.