Mourinho Turns 60: Remembering when Portuguese Tactician Hid in Laundry Basket to Deliver Tactics

Mourinho Turns 60: Remembering when Portuguese Tactician Hid in Laundry Basket to Deliver Tactics

  • Jose Mourinho is undoubtedly one of the greatest managers in modern football history
  • The Portuguese tactician is also known for his hilarious antics both on and off the pitch
  • None is more sensational than the tale of when he hid in a laundry basket so he could deliver a team talk to his Chelsea team in 2005

Jose Mourinho will certainly go down in history as one of the wittiest managers in football history, and for good reason as well.

Not only is Mourinho a specialist in winning trophies, the former Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham manager is known for hilarious antics off the pitch, some of which he delivers inadvertently.

As he turns 60 on Thursday, January 26, Sports Brief looks back at one of his most infamous moments, when he hid in a laundry basket in a frantic attempt to deliver a team talk amid a suspension.

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Jose Mourinho, Chelsea, Premier League, Throwback
Jose Mourinho, the Chelsea FC manager, during a press conference at the Chelsea training ground on February 25th 2005 in Cobham, Surrey (Photo by Tom Jenkins.
Source: Getty Images

Classic Mourinho

The year was 2005, and Mourinho was slapped with a two-game ban for comments he made on Frank Rijkaard for apparently influencing a game.

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The ban effectively meant Mourinho could not directly exert his tactics on his Chelsea team as they prepared to take on Bayern Munich in a crunch Champions League quarter final.

However, just because he was banned, Mourinho was not going to let that stop him from delivering a team talk, by any means necessary.

Years after the incident, Mourinho himself decided to speak on it since he had nothing to lose, years on.

"I go to the dressing room during the day so I was there from midday and the game is seven o'clock. I just want to be in the dressing room when the players arrive," Mourinho spoke on BeIn Sport, as quoted on Sky Sports.

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"I went there and nobody saw me. The problem was to leave after. And Stewart Bannister the kit man put me in the basket. It was a little bit open so I could breathe.”
"But when he is taking it outside the dressing room, the UEFA guys were following and desperate to find me so he closed the box and I couldn't breathe! When he opened the box I was dying! I am serious! I was claustrophobic, I promise! It's true!"

How the game went

As far as the game was concerned, whatever Mourinho told his team clearly worked as Chelsea beat Bayern 6-5 on aggregate to set up a semi-final showdown against Liverpool, which proved to be another infamous match thanks to Luis Garcia 'ghost goal'.

Today, Jose Mourinho is considered one of the best tacticians and has won trophies in every club he has managed, with the exception being Tottenham Hotspur.