ONE of Jose Mourinho’s more famous quotes was delivered after Chelsea had defeated Tottenham Hotspur in the 2015 League Cup final.
The Blues had won but it certainly wasn’t pretty.
For Mourinho, the ends had justified the means and, chest puffed out, he said: “Finals are not for playing, they are for winning.”
Keep up with the news, build-up and LIVE action in our Europa League final blog
It’s that attitude that should give Manchester United fans confidence ahead of their Europa League final against Ajax on Wednesday night.
When it comes to the crunch, Mourinho, one way or the other, usually finds a way to get the job done.
He’s been involved in 13 finals as a manager and has won 11 of them.
Our friends at Football Whispers take an in-depth look at the Portuguese’s record.
2003 Uefa Cup
Celtic 2-3 Porto AET
IT was the game that brought Mourinho to the wider consciousness of many a British football supporter.
His Porto side were taking on Martin O’Neill’s Celtic, which contained Henrik Larsson, in Sevilla.
The Scottish club, who had knocked Liverpool out on route to the final, were seen as favourites.
Mourinho was in his element. His side were the underdog or the little horse, if you like, but his starting XI included the likes of Paulo Ferreira, Ricardo Carvalho and Deco.
It wasn’t short of quality.
Porto went in front on the stroke of half time through Brazilian striker Derlei but Larsson equalised two minutes after the restart, scoring his 200th Celtic goal in the process.
Dmitri Alenichev fired Mourinho’s men back in front soon after but Larsson again brought the game level. At full time, the game ended 2-2.
An additional 30 minutes was required.
The final was the first to use the ‘silver goal’ rule but it wasn’t required as, deep into the second period of extra time, Derlei struck Porto’s third.
It turned out to be the winner. Mourinho had won his first final.
2003 Taça de Portugal
Porto 1-0 União de Leiria
A LITTLE over three weeks after lifting the Uefa Cup, Mourinho’s Porto played their season finale.
Victory would secure a treble for the Portuguese club. Mourinho ensured it happened.
It didn’t have the drama of the win over Celtic but the win had the hallmarks of a Mourinho side.
A single goal, again scored by Derlei, and a clean sheet. Job done. Mourinho had clinched the first treble of his career.
2004 Taça de Portugal
Benfica 2-1 Porto AET
THE first big disappointment in Mourinho’s coaching career came a year later.
Porto had sewn up the Primeira Liga title, had stunned Europe by reaching the Champions League final and were once again closing in on another treble having advanced into the final of the Taça de Portugal.
Their old rivals Benfica were the opponents but at half time Porto were in front, Derlei with yet another goal in a final.
However, a 58th minute goal from Greek defender Takis Fyssas forced the game into extra time.
Porto, who had been down to ten men since the 70th minute after Jorge Costa was dismissed, couldn’t hold out and a Simao Sabrosa header consigned Mourinho’s men to defeat.
2004 Champions League
Monaco 0-3 Porto
THIS game, perhaps more than any other, had the greatest significance on Mourinho’s career.
In the build-up there was talk that either he or Monaco’s Didier Deschamps would take over at newly rich Chelsea. It was literally winner takes all.
And on the biggest European stage, Mourinho worked his magic. His Porto side delivered the perfect final performance.
In the opening half they restricted Monaco to a single shot on goal while going ahead in the 39th minute through Carlos Alberto.
As the Ligue 1 side became desperate in the second period, Porto picked them off. Deco added a second in the 71st minute and Alenichev added a third soon after.
Mourinho, who’d famously sprinted down the Old Trafford touchline after knocking Manchester United in the last 16, had truly arrived.
A couple of months later and ‘The Special One’ was born.
2005 League Cup
Liverpool 2-3 Chelsea AET
MOURINHO’S first trophy at Chelsea was secured at the Millennium Stadium with an extra time win over Liverpool.
It was a result that started a fierce rivalry between the two clubs and a hostile relationship between Mourinho and Rafa Benitez.
In the Premier League, Chelsea were charging to the title but Liverpool raised their game in Wales and went in front in the opening minute via John Arne Riise.
Mourinho’s side struggled to break through a stubborn Liverpool defence but, just as the Blues were becoming frantic, they equalised through the unlikeliest of sources.
Steven Gerrard, then heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, headed into his own net to the delight of Chelsea fans.
Mourinho celebrated in front of the Liverpool fans and was sent to the stands.
The game went to extra time where scruffy goals from Didier Drogba and Mateja Kezman put the Blues in command.
Antonio Nunez pulled a goal back but it wasn’t enough to deny Mourinho and Chelsea from getting their hands on the trophy.
2007 League Cup
Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal
IT’S a game that is often remembered for John Terry being kicked in the face and knocked out, accidentally, by Abou Diaby.
The match itself, however, was also full of incident and drama.
Arsene Wenger, as he had done in every previous round, named inexperienced side. Chelsea were at full strength.
Yet it was the Gunners who went in front when Theo Walcott, still just 17 years old, struck his first goal for the club.
Drogba brought Chelsea level in the 20th minute and the remainder of the contest was largely even.
But the Blues’ experience eventually made the difference and Drogba, the striker for the big occasion, headed home Chelsea’s winner with five minutes to play.
The game ended with substitutes Emmanuel Adebayor and John Obi Mikel being sent off for their part in a brawl and after lifting the trophy, Mourinho couldn’t help but take a dig at Arsenal.
He said: “A special word for them – they played very good. They have a great coach, great players – but football is about winning and the cup goes to us.”
2007 FA Cup
Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United AET
IT was the first FA Cup final played at the new Wembley but it didn’t live up to expectations.
Both sides played cautiously with each only manage four shots on target across normal time and the additional 30 minutes that was required to separate them.
The winning goal was scored in the 116th minute. It was a move that belied the quality of the match.
Drogba, on the edge of the United area, flicked the ball to Frank Lampard.
The midfielder’s return pass was perfect and the Ivorian striker deftly flicked the ball past the onrushing Edwin van der Sar.
The victory meant Mourinho had lifted every domestic trophy available in just three seasons in charge at Stamford Bridge.
2010 Coppa Italia
Inter 1-0 Roma
MOURINHO’S first season in Italian football hadn’t yielded the return he perhaps expected, although he did clinch the Serie A title and the Supercoppa Italia.
His second campaign in charge of Inter was, however, much more dominant.
The club were on their way to retaining their league title, had sealed a place in the Champions League final following a memorable win over Barcelona, and faced off against Roma in the Coppa Italia final.
Another treble was on.
The Coppa final arrived first and it was a Mourinho masterclass.
Inter restricted a talented Roma side and Diego Milito’s 39th minute goal proved enough for the Portuguese to claim another trophy.
2010 Champions League
Bayern Munich 0-2 Inter
AHEAD of the final, which was to be played at the Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium, reports grew stronger that Mourinho would step down after the match and join Los Blancos.
Even though those reports turned out to be correct, it didn’t affect Inter’s players or Mourinho.
His side stuck to their tactical blueprint, one that had served them so well during the season.
They worked incredibly hard to reduce space, defended resolutely and, when the chances arrived, were clinical.
Milito struck in each half to down Bayern, who ended the game with almost twice as many shots as Inter and with 68 per cent of possession.
It was a victory that clinched a first treble or Inter. For Mourinho it was the second of his managerial career.
2011 Copa del Rey
Real Madrid 1-0 Barcelona AET
PERHAPS appreciating that in simple football terms, his Real Madrid side were never going to be able to beat Barcelona, Mourinho ensured El Clásico encounters became bad-tempered, spiteful and enjoyable to watch.
The 2011 Copa del Rey final was no different.
Pep Guardiola’s side dominated the ball but Madrid were set up to frustrate and that’s exactly what they did.
Barca didn’t manage a single shot on target in the opening half while, on the counter attack, Cristiano Ronaldo wasted three good chances.
Madrid, who had three players booked and Angel di Maria sent off, held out for extra time in which a Ronaldo header turned out to be the winning goal.
2013 Copa del Rey
Real Madrid 1-2 Atletico Madrid AET
MOURINHO’S second final defeat came courtesy of Real’s city rivals Atletico.
It was not a match for the purists, given both Mourinho and Diego Simeone usually set up their sides to be defensively solid and play in the counter.
There were also 11 yellow cards handed out and two reds shown across the 120 minutes.
Between bookings and dismissals, three goals were scored. Ronaldo put Real in front after 14 minutes before Diego Costa equalised before half time.
No goals in the second period meant extra time and a 99th minute header from Brazilian defender Miranda clinched victory for Atletico.
It should be noted that while Mourinho hasn’t been successful in every final he’s reached, the Portuguese has yet to lose inside 90 minutes.
2015 League Cup
Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur
A LITTLE over a month earlier Tottenham had beaten Chelsea, who would go on to win the 2014/15 Premier League title, 5-3 at White Hart Lane.
Mourinho had learned a lesson that day and set up his side at Wembley accordingly.
Centre-back Kurt Zouma was played in midfield to nullify the threat of Harry Kane. As so often proves the case in a final, Mourinho got his tactics right.
Spurs’ talisman was kept quiet and deflected goals from John Terry and Diego Costa ensured Chelsea lifted the trophy despite having only 37 per cent possession across the 90 minutes.
2017 League Cup
Man United 3-2 Southampton
PERHAPS the most fortunate of Mourinho’s cup final wins came earlier this season at Wembley.
For much of the match Southampton were the better side but one man ultimately made the difference, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The Swede scored the opening goal with a fine free-kick before Jesse Lingard doubled Mourinho’s side’s advantage.
Manolo Gabbiadini, who’d wrongly had a goal disallowed with the score at 0-0, pulled one back before half time and then equalised in the second period.
But, with the Saints pushing for a winner, Man United countered and Ibrahimovic proved why he’s one of the world’s best strikers by scoring an 87th minute header to secure yet another title for Mourinho and United.