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Last Updated: Saturday, 30 April, 2005, 18:26 GMT 19:26 UK
Mourinho's triumph hailed at home
By John Sinnott

Jose Mourinho
Chelsea's fanbase in Portugal has grown because of Mourinho
Jose Mourinho's triumph in guiding Chelsea to the title in his first season has been closely followed back in his home country of Portugal.

"In Portugal Jose Mourinho is a hero," leading Portuguese newspaper writer Alberto da Silva told BBC Sport.

"Every publication has been instructed to give him maximum coverage. He's guaranteed to sell copies.

"Nobody ever thought of a Portuguese manager going to England and taking the Premiership in his first year."

Da Silva, who writes for A Bola, continued: "It's not only that, but also actually taking it the way he did, losing just one game.

"I don't want to imply that it's been easy, but Mourinho demonstrated he was head and shoulders above his rival managers in tactical terms.

"The most obvious example of that was Chelsea's three non-European games with Liverpool.

"Rafael Benitez is a superb manager, but Mourinho took him for a ride in the way he used Joe Cole.

There is no other manager like him in the way he handles the millionaire players
Portuguese journalist Alberto da Silva on Mourinho

"Benitez didn't take any provision to stop Cole influencing those games and the Chelsea midfielder made all the play for Mourinho.

"Arsene Wenger, Alex Ferguson and Benitez all have a more romantic view of football in a way that Mourinho doesn't.

"Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool wouldn't play with six men in defence, but if it means Chelsea win, then Mourinho is perfectly happy to do that.

"To be honest I think Manchester United are a better team than Chelsea.

"But because of Mourinho, come three o'clock on Saturday for 90 minutes, Chelsea are better prepared and more determined. Not only that, they are better fighters.

"Mourinho is operating at a different level from the other managers. For Mourinho it's a matter of life and death. He tells the players: 'I want that victory, I want nothing else.'

"Of course there has been a lot of money for him to spend and he has a great squad at his disposal.

"But there is no other manager like him in the way he handles the millionaire players.

His success has also meant people are excited about him managing the Portugal national team
Da Silva on Mourinho's impact back in Portugal

"I know Mourinho has received negative coverage over what has happened with Uefa or Ashley Cole or Rio Ferdinand, but the Portuguese people are not interested in those issues.

"For them it's the games and results that are important - which team has played better and how Mourinho changed the game with his tactical approach or use of substitutions.

"For the Portuguese it's about the glory of the game.

"The Portuguese nation is right behind him. Before he went to Stamford Bridge Chelsea were not one of the best known English clubs here. Now they have millions of supporters in Portugal.

"His success has also meant people are excited about him managing the Portugal national team.

"People believe that under Mourinho, Portugal could win a European Championship or even the World Cup."

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