A victory at Old Trafford and wins home and away against Barcelona — most managers dream of such a run. But the Real Madrid boss just shrugged and smiled at the suggestion that it was a remarkable set of results. It started with a stunning 3-1 triumph over arch-rivals Barcelona in the Nou Camp to reach the final of the Copa del Rey (Spanish Cup) quickly followed by a 2-1 La Liga (Spanish Laeague) win over Barca back at the Bernabeu. And finally came the 2-1 Champions League victory at United courtesy of the Red Devils’ former hero Cristiano Ronaldo.
With that trademark twinkle in his eye Mourinho quipped: "Yes it was a good week with three good wins but I’ve had bigger, better wins." The best run of all was winning the three matches to claim the three titles with Inter Milan: "First we won the Italian Cup beating Roma in the final. Then we went to Siena where we won to become Italian champions. Finally we had the Champions League final in Madrid and we won it with a victory over Bayern Munich."
"Now that is what I call a special run." It certainly was a fabulous fortnight for Mourinho and his Milanese men — the first time an Italian side had ever done the Treble. And in the process it brought the Portuguese coach a second prized Champions League success.
Now he is just three ties away from a third — and an historic 10th triumph for Real Madrid. Which is why he is fully focused on looking ahead to more glory instead of glancing back at what has already been done.
He added: “Maybe you can understand why I’m not over the moon because we won at Old Trafford. It was, of course, an important win and I know we can go on from here to win the Champions League. But I also know we can be out in the next round because the Champions League is full of good teams. So I am calm and I am cool."
Cool enough to swerve the inevitable question on his future — if he becomes a triple European champion would he then walk away from the Spanish capital? Mourinho continued: "I never base my decisions on whether I win or not. I work at the top level every day thinking only about the club and never worried about myself." Let us be honest, he does not have to worry too much with his record does he?
Because if he does leave Real Madrid in the summer, as is expected, there will be a queue of clubs chasing his signature. He has already been linked with Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan and Manchester City. Even with succeeding Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. His close friendship with the Scot, his open respect for the club and its history and, most recently, his rapport with the Old Trafford fans make him a formidable candidate should Fergie step down.
And Mourinho further endeared himself to the United hierarchy with a classy touch before last Tuesday night’s big kick-off. The Special One made a point of seeking out United legend Ryan Giggs to congratulate him on his 1,000th match. And, afterwards, he was full of praise for the 39-year-old Welsh wing wizard on his wonderful achievement. Mourinho added: "Amazing is the only word to describe Ryan Giggs. I told him that in the tunnel before the match and the way he performed for 90 minutes at this level is simply amazing. You can’t choose another word. I believe that Sir Alex has a lot of respect for Ryan and also for Paul Scholes — these boys that he’s known since they were kids.
"Secondly, I believe he knows how good they still are and what they can still give to a team. Because a team is a mixture of ingredients and the younger ones need these personalities around them to help them grow up as players." And Mourinho hopes his own flying winger, Ronaldo, 28, will one day emulate Giggs and Scholes to play well into his thirties: "I am sure Cristiano can do it but I don’t know yet if he wants to. That is the point with Giggs and Scholes — they still can play and they still want to play. I just hope for the good of football that Cristiano will want to as well." And so say all of us.