Mourinho joined Real Madrid after winning the Champions League with Internazionale
Mourinho got started by bringing German World Cup stars, Sami Khedira and Mesut Özil to the club along with Ricardo Carvalho and Ángel di María. Despite stamping his mark on the team he saw Real lose 5-0 away to Barcelona in a match that showed who the top dogs in Spanish football still were.
Real’s president said it was the worst result in the club’s history but Mourinho was keen to stop his players reading too much into the result and refused to call it a humiliation. Real had been on good form up to then and had regularly scored more than four goals in games, Mourinho knew his team needed to stay focused.
They beat Leante 8-0 in the Copa del Rey Quarter Final. They went on to beat Barcelona in the final. It was the first time Real had won the competition for 18 years. Despite winning the Copa del Rey and having a great season in La Liga, picking up 92 points, it was a disappointing season for Real as Barcelona finished four points above them.
Momentum builds the following season
Although Real had had a good season in terms of points and goal difference (they scored 102 league goals) there were whispers about whether Mourinho might lose his job. However there was no shame in losing to such a special Barcelona team and Mourinho was allowed to carry on working to overcome Barcelona.
It was a great decision by the Real hierarchy because the following season Mourinho led them to their first La Liga title for four years, breaking several records along the way. They were relentless in their pursuit of the title and raced ahead of Barcelona in the table.
They had a slight stutter towards the end of the season, twice conceding last minute equalisers, but by the time they faced Barcelona with five games to go, they were still four points ahead. Barcelona were looking to get to within a point of Real but Mourinho’s men beat the champions on their own ground to open up a seven point gap with just four games to play.
Record breaking league campaign
It was a fantastic achievement having been beaten 5-0 at the Nou Camp only the previous season. It was the first time in four years that Real had beaten Barcelona in the League. They clinched the title two games later with a 3-0 win over Athletic Bilbao. It was the first time in four years that the trophy had left Barcelona.
In lifting the title, they won 100 points, the most ever in Spanish football or any other major European league. They also won 32 of their 38 games and 16 out of 19 away from home, which were both Spanish records. With 121 goals, they were the highest ever goal scorers and had the best ever goal difference at +89.
Champions League disappointment
In the Champions League they became only the fifth team to ever qualify from the group stages having won all six matches. The final group game against Ajax was Real’s 15th win in a row which equaled their club record that had stood for 50 years.
Real went on to lose on penalties in the semi final to a Bayern Munich side that were hell bent on lifting the trophy as the final was being played at their home, the Allianz Arena. Ironically, Mourinho’s former club Chelsea went on to thwart Bayern in the final, beating the German side on penalties.
It will be just as hard to retain the title next season, but Mourinho will need to do that and be successful in the Champions League if he is to keep the famously demanding Real hierarchy happy in the years to come.