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The Special One: The Dark Side of Jose Mourinho and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
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The Special One Paperback – 10 Apr 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: HarperSport (10 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 000755303X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007553037
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Bakewell on 11 May 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book held me absolutely gripped. I now know that Real Madrid, who had lost four out of four matches in the previous two years to 'the greatest team in history' (Barca, but their dominance is omitted as is their dismal recent record), then won la Liga without the help of their manager (who had won domestic leagues in three major footballing nations) because they ignored him - his tactics were idiotic and only when they lost was it down to the coach. This is because Mourinho only knows how to defend and hasn't got a clue how to break down defences; yet, amazingly, 'his' Liga-winning side scored more goals in a season than any Spanish team in history and accrued more points. Mmm...
Some things I did believe: when Mourinho was unhappy with his players, he shouted at them, and when he was happy with their performance, he laughed and joked; he allowed his agent (who is also Ronaldo's agent) into the training ground quite often; he sacked the training ground chefs; he stirred up controversy in the press and caused ill-will with other teams; he was closer to the players who did what he asked than those who argued with him; he told his players to 'express themselves' in attack.
While Iker Casillas is described as 'the best goalkeeper in the world' his shot-stopping stats don't bear this out. The book reveals how Casillas held secret talks with team-mates behind the back of the coach, threatened mutiny, became sulky when he disagreed with tactics, hated Mourinho and leaked stories to the press (including, it seems, this book). He didn't view refusing to toe the coach's line as disloyal. While the world saw how inept Casillas had become for Spain in 2014, Real Madrid did win La Decima after Mourinho's departure, so hey-ho.
It's still a fascinating insight into the sniping animosities of the biggest club in the world (and I now know how Ferreira kept his place in the Chelsea side all that time!).
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The Spanish title maybe represent better this book. "Preparense para perder" means "Stay ready to lose" and that sums exactly the meaning of this book. In Madrid Mourinho seemed ready to face a defeat rather than risking to get a win, maybe because he knew he couldn't compete in sporting terms with Guardiola and Barça at the time. Although I haven't taken everything written for granted, I enjoyed the book. Obviously it portraits Mourinho as a bad coach, especially in tactical terms and that's not completely true. However most of the topics are quite interesting : the strong connection between the coach and Mendes (his agent and agent of many of portoguese players, especially those who play / played with Real Madrid), his mind-games and all the troubles Mourinho had with the dressing room and some of senior players (Ramos and Casillas above all else and even Cristiano Ronaldo) and member of club (Valdano, Zidane). As I said - the book has mostly a negative view on Mourinho but a part from few exagerations (I don't think he played Di Maria instead of Pedro Leon just because Di Maria is Mendes' player;) there are many interesting stories that explain why he didn't succeed in Spain.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 13 Aug. 2014
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As a Real Madrid fan (and someone who is a huge critic of Mou) I find much of this book is bordering on fiction. The stories are greatly exaggerated, although there is a basis of truth.

This is really just a 268 page attack on Jose Mourinho.

What's striking is the amount of stories that simply weren't reported at the time, or even rumoured to have happened.

Can't say I would recommend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By mr mark m eccles on 1 May 2014
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Don't really know how much of this book is the truth, but I enjoyed it immensely. A delicious dissection of "the Special One", devoured it in two sittings.
A cracking read !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Alexander on 12 May 2014
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This is an absolute page-turner. it reads like a thriller! The journalist who wrote this is apparently close to Casillas and Ramos so you're obviously getting one side of the story, but it certainly answers a few questions a layman like me has about why Mourinho does some of the odd things he does. Brilliantly written, incisive and above all interesting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Pullman on 30 Jun. 2014
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If, like me, you've always thought Mourinho was an unpleasant, manipulative so-and-so, this book will, through excellently sourced quotes and examples confirm all your prejudices. If you have thought he's a great guy who brings out the best in his teams, it's also well worth a read if only to make you think about whether or not you're right.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Rawling on 8 May 2014
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A remarkable and detailed expose of Mourinho. Clearly, it is written from a preconceived slant and has to be assessed accordingly. But it is certainly true that we can understand the man more for having read this work. Would that Diego Torres had written a behind the scenes account of Sir Alex. Now that would have been compulsive ......
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andrew J. Knight on 15 May 2015
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Poorly-translated, thinly disguised Madrid propaganda masquerading as investigative journalism. I am no blind follower of "Mou"' but I have to say, this stuff is almost unreadable, both for the unsubstantiated allegations contained in it and for the utter illiteracy of the text. The publishers should be ashamed.
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