One day in the future, Jose Mourinho will have stepped away from the coaching stage and faded into history as one of the greatest men to ever prowl a touchline. If he walked away today on the verge of Real Madrid's Champions League semifinal first leg against Borussia Dortmund, he would still be a boss that has won two Champions Leagues and a pile of various other pieces of silverware that would make Smaug jealous.
Mourinho won't be going anywhere yet, but there's a very real chance that his time with Los Merengues will come to an end when the current season concludes. If that happens he will immediately become the most sought after manager on the market and the type of hire that could change the fortunes of any team that brings him on board.
Spanish newspapers have made seemingly ridiculous claims that Florentino Pérez held an informal poll of the Madrid players with up to 15 members of the squad wanting Mourinho out. Last week Mourinho reportedly admitted he didn't expect to be in charge of Madrid next season to the president of CD Canillas -- Mourinho's son plays on the club's youth team -- a story that was picked up on by major outlets despite the fact that Mourinho confiding in Manuel Álvarez sounds patently absurd.
What is clear amongst the ocean of reports, theories and assumptions is that Mourinho has likely rubbed some people the wrong way within the Madrid structure. This is no surprise, that's Mourinho's pattern and a big part of why he's been such a mobile manager moving between Porto, Chelsea, Internazionale and Madrid over the past ten years. The Special One typically lasts three or four seasons at a job before picking up and moving on to the next challenge.
The motivations behind those moves are not purely down to Mourinho's wanderlust but they're also not purely down to internal strife caused by his unique and likely caustic style. The truth is somewhere in the middle, fueled by the ambition of a man that is not cut from the type of cloth that a Sir Alex Ferguson came from. Some coaches want to remain in a comfortable situation where they can have consistent success, some have the itch to change and never really settle in any job.
Mourinho's genius is built upon his style and his willingness to ruffle feathers in the name of winning and getting the most out of his time at a club. I think it's a little crazy honestly that any owner or president would ever get upset with him because they should understand what they're getting into with Mourinho. He's an enigma wrapped in bacon -- because bacon is awesome, like Mou -- and anyone that hires him should know what they're getting.
The fact that these powerful men of soccer apparently believe that they can somehow be the person who reigns in the stallion and control Mourinho -- if that is what they're thinking -- is some insanely comical, I can't help but laugh writing the idea down. Then again there is never a shortage of arrogance and fanciful thinking in the power structures of the beautiful game.
So perhaps Mourinho has worn out his welcome in Madrid, perhaps a majority of players have tired of his style and are demanding a change. That would be their prerogative, a short sided one from my outside perspective, but none the less their right to feel how they will about working with and playing for Mourinho.
Madrid ousted a talented manager in Manuel Pellegrini to bring in Mourinho back in 2010. They've reaped the rewards in the form of a league title and several other cups. There's every reason to believe that by the end of May, Mourinho will have brought Madrid their 10th European title. There's also every reason to believe that would be his final act in charge of the club.
If he leaves, where Mourinho surfaces will be one of the biggest stories of the summer. Team across the globe will dream of hiring him and a small group will actually have a chance. Despite all the controversies, all the stories and his propensity to move on after a handful of seasons, there are few clubs on the planet that wouldn't want him leading them.
He wins, and people will gladly deal with the circus that accompanies Mourinho because, at the top levels of the soccer world, it's all about winning. So in the final week of the season when Ferguson announces his retirement and Jose Mourinho parachutes into the stadium in the midst of United lifting their 20th English title, don't be surprised.