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Monaco, Porto coach are Europe's most wanted
May 26, 2004 11:18 IST
Monaco coach Didier Deschamps and Porto's Jose Mourinho will emerge from Wednesday's Champions League final as the two most wanted managers in Europe, regardless of the result.
They are young, articulate and have shown themselves to be shrewd tacticians and expert motivators in leading two comparatively modest teams to the final. Those qualities are bound to bring offers from Europe's biggest clubs.
While they are separated by only six years in age, Deschamps and Mourinho have little in common except the tell-tale signs of stress in their prematurely greying hair.
Mourinho, 41, never made it as a player, devoting his teenage years to filing scouting reports for his father before going on to study for his UEFA coaching badge.
He was taken under the wing of Bobby Robson, who used him first as a translator and then as a trusted assistant at Sporting, Porto and Barcelona.
Mourinho also worked for Louis van Gaal at the Nou Camp before breaking out on his own. His success at Porto in the last two years, with two league titles and a UEFA Cup in the trophy cabinet, shows the value of a good education.
Deschamps, by contrast, had a long and immensely successful career as a player, leading France to the World Cup in 1998 and the European Championship two years later, and winning the Champions League with Olympique Marseille and Juventus.
At first he struggled to adapt to the demands of coaching at Monaco, enduring a troubled first season, but at just 35 he is once again enjoying the sort of success that came so naturally to him as a player.
"It's difficult to compare us," Mourinho said. "Didier Deschamps was a great player who went directly from the pitch to the bench and he's a success.
"I had a different education, I was not a great player but I had a chance to study a lot. I had the chance to be an assistant to top managers for many seasons at top clubs.
"In the end it's a matter of getting results or not getting them. I think we're lucky managers.
"Getting to the final of the Champions League is great for an old manager so imagine for a young one..."
Deschamps is still getting used to life on the touchline.
"It's very different," he said on the eve of the game. "When you're a player you are an actor and you have an influence on events.
"I've always said that a trainer depends on his players and I haven't changed my mind now that I've changed sides.
"When you're a coach you have to think collectively. There's probably also more stress."