A kind of home match
José Mourinho was born and grew up in Setúbal, near Lisbon, and after a spell as assistant manager at Estrela da Amadora and a period as a scout at Ovarense, he was appointed as Sir Bobby Robson’s assistant at Sporting in 1992. He worked for 18 months at the club before following the former England manager to Porto.
“That was a fantastic time until the moment they sacked Mr Robson. It gives me a sense of pride. I was all I could be at this club. I tried to help the team the best way I could, at the beginning of my career. There is no grudge, no sense of ill-feeling at how I left. It’s been a long time since I faced a Portuguese team, so it is a great joy to return.
Sporting were in economic crisis for a while and, because of that, it was out of Champions League for a while. Now they are back fighting for domestic titles again and every Portuguese, whether they are a fan of this club or not, is pleased to see them back. Now their first home match back in the Champions League is against Chelsea: a team managed by a Portuguese coach. I think for them it’s a super motivation.”
— José Mourinho, press conference 29.09.14