Everything acquires a dramatic tinge in the hands of Mourinho. Even the triumphs, which with the passage of time tend to become more entangled than to be celebrated or simply remembered. Perhaps it is the very nature of the great coaches whose legacy can not be measured with simple statistical data and forces us to introduce variables of an affective nature, monopolists of loyalties and resentments that remain unaltered long after their departure. Mourinho is leaving – or rather, they throw him – Manchester United leaving behind a scenario identical to that of previous adventures, at least from a social point of view: hordes of supporters facing legions of detractors, with little room for neutrality or indifference.
He explained it himself on one occasion, asked about his affections: "I am a Mourinhista, neither an Interista nor a Madridista". That is why, where he lands, his first effort is to draw a line by which a good fan is the one who communicates with his ideas and something very different from the discrepant, that for dark and unspeakable interests is located on the other side of the line . It achieves it, among other tricks, appealing to feelings as primitive as survival-we or them, win or die-hence their ancestry is so pronounced among the most visceral sectors of the press, the stands or the costumes. In many ways it has something of a Galician mother, somewhat castrating, of those who announce terrible illnesses by having a snack outside the home and even a guide dog seems susceptible to becoming bad company. "Did I tell you or I did not tell you?" That could be a good summary of the Mourinho philosophy.
Of that extreme and maternal polarization – he is the only one who cares about the house, the others live there almost borrowed – not even some great myths are spared from those clubs in which he camps. We lived it up close during his time in Madrid and even before, in Barcelona, where he lined up with the recently deceased Josep Lluís Núñez in his particular crusade against Cruyff. He also did not hesitate to put Iker Casillas or Vicente Del Bosque in front of the firing squad, to which not a few Madridistas today dare to disfigure their behavior and even their feelings. And something similar has happened in Manchester, where living monuments such as Ryan Giggs or Paul Scholes were passed by his particular laminator of wills, that little virtual machine that determines who is with him and who against the club.
Casillas himself wondered, this week and in clear allusion to his former coach, when it is known that a coach is no longer able to direct the designs of a team. It does not seem that Mourinho's career is at that point, far from it. It is true that he has accumulated two layoffs – his departure from Madrid is still inscrutable – in his last two jobs but there should be no shortage of attractive offers for a coach of his category and honors. In the first place, because it is part of a dominant commercial structure in current football but also, and sometimes we forget, because it is one of the best. The only doubt about his future could lie in his own ambition, in knowing if he still accumulates the appetite necessary to engulf a new club or if, on the contrary, he will prefer to stay at home to irrigate Mourinhism as my mother waters her geraniums.