Jose Mourinho boasts one of football’s greatest managerial records with domestic championships in four different countries and two Champions League trophies achieved with big underdogs.
However, at 56-years-old, Mourinho needs a new challenge to prove he is still a special one and not yesterday’s man. His last trophy came in 2017, his last league title was won in 2015 and you have to go all the way back to 2010 when he was last a European champion with Inter Milan.
After almost a year out of the game, Mourinho is reportedly a serious target for German club Borussia Dortmund who currently sit fourth in the Bundesliga under Lucien Favre, albeit only a point behind the leaders.
Would Mourinho be a good fit for Dortmund as he was for Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan, or would it all end in tears and acrimony, as it did for at Real Madrid and most recently, Manchester United.
Sportsmail assesses the pluses and minuses of Mourinho going to the club whose modern history was dominated by Jurgen Klopp in his pre-Liverpool days.
Jose Mourinho has been out of football management since leaving Manchester United in 2018
MOURINHO & DORTMUND… A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN?
YES – DEFENCE MAESTRO
Jose Mourinho is famed for tightening up the defence and Dortmund have looked slightly vulnerable in that area. Despite re-signing the legendary Mats Hummels from rivals Bayern Munich last summer, they have conceded 11 goals in eight league matches; nobody has conceded more in the Bundesliga’s top nine clubs.
In their last away game, an own goal from Manuel Akanji cost them a win at Freiburg. You can imagine the Mourinho meltdown if that happened under him.
Mourinho’s ability to tighten up a defence could benefit Borussia Dortmund, who despite re-signing Mats Hummels in the summer are still conceding over a goal a game
NO – SUSPICION OF YOUTH
Dortmund’s strategy has been based around developing young players like England’s own Jadon Sancho, on the understanding that they could never compete financially with Bayern for established stars.
Though Mourinho has brought through some young players, most notably Raphael Varane at Real Madrid, it’s not been in his nature to encourage youngsters like Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial as they go through ups and downs.
It is not in Mourinho’s nature to encourage youth players. Here he is pictured giving tactical instructions to Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford in 2018
YES – SERIAL WINNER
Mourinho won the league championship with his first four clubs; Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid. In the case of Chelsea in particular, the ambition was to topple more established clubs like Manchester United, and he did it. There are obvious paralells with Dortmund striving to end Bayern’s run of seven consecutive championships.
He’s also led Porto, Inter and Manchester United to European trophies. For a Dortmund team whose only Champions League success came in 1997, that Mourinho penchant for lifting silverware is a very tempting attribute.
After winning the Europa League with Manchester United in 2017, Mourinho flashed up four fingers to indicate how many European trophies he had won
NO – ATTACKING HANDBRAKE
Dortmund’s DNA is similar to Manchester United in their love of progressive, attacking football. Klopp practically invented heavy metal football and gegenpressing during his time at the Westfanlen Stadion.
Unfortunately, Mourinho is more of a traditionalist, defending deep with experienced warriors along the lines of John Terry, rather than pressing from the front and committing players forward.
There was an obvious clash in styles at United, would it be the same in Germany? It was significant that a former Dortmund favourite, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, struggled badly at Old Trafford under Mourinho.
Mourinho’s defensive approach saw attacking stars like Henrikh Mkhitaryan struggle at United
YES – BATTLING AGAINST THE ODDS
Going head-to-head against a club with the size and might of Bayern Munich would be daunting to some managers in the Dortmund hot-seat. It wouldn’t bother Mourinho in the slightest.
He made his name taking a modestly-sized club, Porto, to the Champions League, knocking out Manchester United en route. At Inter, they knocked out Chelsea and Barcelona to win the trophy in 2010.
Chelsea hadn’t been English champions for 50 years until Mourinho arrived. Yes, money was part of the reason for their success, but also their manager’s belief that nothing is impossible.
While at Inter Milan, Mourinho lifted the Champions League title in 2010 against the odds
NO – THE CUPBOARD IS BARE FINANCIALLY
There will be no repeat of paying a world-record fee at Dortmund, as Mourinho did with United when he splashed out £89m on Paul Pogba.
Hummels became the club’s record signing in the summer and he’ll cost £32million with add-ons, not an insignificant amount but very limited compared to the spending power Mourinho has enjoyed at other club.
Dortmund will also be unable to keep their best players; over the years they’ve lost stars like Robert Lewandowski and Ilkay Gundogan, if a big bid comes in for Sancho it’s unlikely they’ll be able to hold onto him.
Dortmund tend to sell their best players and over the years have sold key stars such as Robert Lewandowski and Mario Gotze (right) to rivals Bayern Munich
Primeira Liga: 2002-03, 2003-04
Portuguese Cup: 2003
Champions League: 2004
UEFA Cup: 2003
Premier League: 2004-05, 2005-06, 2014-15
FA Cup: 2007
League Cup: 2005, 2007, 2015
Serie A: 2008-09, 2009-10
Italian Cup: 2010
Champions League: 2010
La Liga: 2011-12
Spanish Cup: 2011
League Cup: 2017
Europa League: 2017
YES – FANATIC SUPPORT
Nobody knows how to whip up a crowd like Mourinho, and there are few fans more passionate than Dortmund, who have often topped the average attendances in Europe and are loud with it.
Mourinho uses the ‘no-one likes us’ tactic better than most. It worked best at Chelsea where he built a siege mentality against the Premier League’s traditional elite, but the tactic wasn’t quite as effective at Real Madrid and Manchester United, though he had his supporters in the crowd.
Dortmund are up against Bayern, the ultimate establishment club, and you can imagine Mourinho using every refereeing decision that went against his team to whip up fervour.
His handcuff gesture to complain about officiating drew huge headlines at Inter. Dortmund are based in the most industrial part of Germany.
The working-class fan base loved Klopp, they could warm to Mourinho in a different way.
The Dortmund faithful could warm to Mourinho who is known to whip up a crowd
NO – THE GAME HAS MOVED ON
From the moment he burst onto the scene by winning the UEFA Cup with Porto in 2003, Mourinho could justifiably have claimed to be the best manager in the world for the next decade. But this is 2019 not his Treble-winning campaign at Inter in 2010, and his tactics have been usurped by younger rivals like Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola.
They seem to impose a rigid tactical discipline in their teams, but are as keen to coach with the ball as without.
They also have this knack of getting the best out of the most talented players. Mourinho fell out with Eden Hazard and Paul Pogba in recent times, and famously lost Kevin de Bruyne and Mo Salah at Chelsea, both of whom have gone on to become world stars.
Mourinho’s tenure at Manchester United ended on a very sour note and without a league title