He is regarded by a number of players, coaches, and commentators as one of the greatest and most successful managers in the world. In 2015, Mourinho was named Portuguese Coach of the Century by the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF). In 2017, Mourinho was named among the 10 greatest coaches since the foundation of UEFA in 1954. In the same year, he also became the first coach to have spent more than £1 billion on transfers.
Mourinho began his involvement in professional football as a player in the Portuguese Second Division. He studied sports science in Technical University of Lisbon and attended coaching courses in Britain. In Lisbon, he worked as a physical education teacher and had spells working as a youth team coach, a scout, and an assistant manager. In the early 1990s, he became an interpreter for Sir Bobby Robson at Sporting CP and Porto in Portugal, and Barcelona in Spain. He remained at the Catalonian club working with Robson's successor, Louis van Gaal.
Mourinho impressed with brief but successful managerial periods at Benfica and União de Leiria, taking the latter to their highest ever league finish. He returned to Porto in early 2002 as head coach, winning the Primeira Liga, Taça de Portugal, and UEFA Cup in 2003. In the next season, Mourinho guided the team to victory in the Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira, to the top of the league for a second time, and won the highest honour in European club football, the UEFA Champions League. Mourinho moved to Chelsea the following year and won the Premier League title with a record 95 points, the club's first league title in 50 years, and the League Cup in his first season. In his second year, Chelsea retained the Premier League and in 2006–07 he took the club to an FA Cup and League Cup double. Mourinho left Chelsea in September 2007, amidst reports of a rift with club owner Roman Abramovich.
In 2008, Mourinho moved to Serie A club Internazionale. Within three months he had won his first Italian honour, the Supercoppa Italiana, and completed the season by winning the Serie A title. In 2009–10, Inter became the first Italian club to win the treble of Serie A, Coppa Italia and the Champions League, also the first time Inter had won the latter competition since 1965. He is one of only five coaches to have won the European Cup with two different teams, along with Ernst Happel, Ottmar Hitzfeld, Jupp Heynckes and Carlo Ancelotti. He won the first ever FIFA World Coach of the Year Award in 2010. He then signed with Real Madrid in 2010, winning the Copa del Rey in his first season. The following year, he won the La Liga and became the fifth coach, after Tomislav Ivić, Ernst Happel, Giovanni Trapattoni and Eric Gerets, to have won league titles in at least four different countries: Portugal, England, Italy and Spain. After leaving Madrid in June 2013, Mourinho returned to England to manage Chelsea for a second spell, during which they won another league championship, but was sacked on 17 December 2015, after a poor run of results left Chelsea just outside the relegation zone. Following several months out of the game after losing his job at Chelsea for the second time, Mourinho was confirmed as the new manager of Manchester United on 27 May 2016.
Due to his tactical knowledge, charismatic—but also very controversial—personality, and what his opponents regard as emphasis on getting results over playing beautiful football, he has drawn comparisons, by both admirers and critics, with Argentine manager Helenio Herrera.
Mourinho was born in 1963 to a large middle-class family in Setúbal (a suburb of the Lisbon Metropolitan Area), Portugal, the son of José Manuel Mourinho Félix, who was known by the name Félix Mourinho, and wife Maria Júlia Carrajola dos Santos. His father played football professionally for Os Belenenses and Vitória de Setúbal, earning one cap for Portugal in the course of his career. His mother was a primary school teacher from an affluent background; her uncle funded the construction of the Vitória de Setúbal football stadium. The fall of António de Oliveira Salazar's Estado Novo regime in April 1974, however, led to the family losing all but a single property in nearby Palmela.
Mourinho wanted to follow in his father's footsteps and joined the Belenenses youth team. Graduating to the senior level, he played at Rio Ave (where his father was coach), Belenenses, and Sesimbra. He lacked the requisite pace and power to become a professional and chose to focus on becoming a football coach instead.