Manchester United have announced Jose Mourinho as their new manager on a three-year deal, with an option of an extra year to take him through to 2020.
The Portuguese becomes the club’s third permanent manager in as many years since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement and arrives with a record second-to-none.
Having won 22 honours whilst in charge of FC Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid across the past 14 years, the 53-year-old was an obvious choice to succeed Louis van Gaal, a coach Mourinho worked under at FC Barcelona.
Months of speculation has finally ended, with Mourinho doing his utmost best not to undermine his friend Van Gaal, who had been under intense pressure from the media and large sections of fans since Christmas.
January saw the announcement of Pep Guardiola, who would replace Manuel Pellegrini at Manchester City come the summer.
This meant a Pep v Jose duel catching the imagination of many, a contest set to be resumed having previously been engaged over in Spain, with Guardiola the head honcho at Barcelona opposite Mourinho’s Galacticos at the Bernabeu.
Guardiola failed to win just four of a possible 18 trophies whilst in charge at the Camp Nou, yet three of those came against Mourinho’s Madrid.
The latter outscored Pep’s Barca in two of his three seasons in La Liga, despite an alleged negative style of play, which is contradicted by the record 121 goals scored in their 38 league games in the 2011/12 campaign.
The first half of the 2014/15 season saw Mourinho’s Chelsea side sweep all before them as well, before grinding out the required results needed during the latter stages of the campaign, to see him lift his third Premier League crown.
This followed previous titles in 2005 and 2006 with the Blues, ending an exact 50-year wait for a league title at Stamford Bridge, securing the league’s record points tally of 95 in the former of those triumphs.
Other Premier League records include the most wins in a season, 29, least goals conceded, 15, and longest unbeaten home run, stretching 77 games across his two spells with Chelsea.
He also holds the record points tally in Spain with 100 and in Portugal with 86, as well never ending a campaign outside of the top three since taking charge of Porto in 2002, whilst always winning the league in no later than his second season of a spell.
His well-documented rivalry with Arsene Wenger will also resume, potentially allowing an Arsenal-United fixture to become as fiercely-contested as it once was back in the late 90s/early 00s.
Mourinho has also won a staggering 34 individual honours, as well as becoming just the second manager to win the Champions League with two different clubs since its 1992 inception, winning club football’s biggest competition in 2004 with FC Porto and with Inter Milan in 2010, defeating Van Gaal’s Bayern Munich in the latter.
One major flaw with the appointment of Van Gaal two years ago was that he arrived without Premier League experience, something that Mourinho has in abundance, with nearly six full seasons in England’s top division under his belt.
On the back of his Chelsea sacking in December, Mourinho has reiterated his desire to remain in the country, where his family are settled and to be a part of such a competitive league.
He will be a wounded animal after witnessing his Chelsea side lose nine of their opening 16 league games, just months after lifting the Premier League crown.
Whether he will succeed at Old Trafford or not, Mourinho will have undoubtedly learnt from these mistakes and be itching to return stronger and prove people wrong.
Some have questioned the timing of the latest managerial changeover, so soon after the FA Cup win.
Nonetheless, with the European Championships and Copa America this summer, as well as a mid-June fixture release and pre-season tour of China, the club needed to act swiftly ahead of transfer plans and new campaign preparations.
This includes two mouth-watering contests against German giants Borussia Dortmund and Guardiola’s Manchester City over in Asia, alongside August’s Community Shield date versus Leicester City.
No manager has ever won the Premier League with two different clubs, no manager has ever won the Champions League with three different clubs, and it is these kind of targets that will drive Mourinho forward.
On the back of Sir Alex’s retirement, it seemed as though his replacement would be Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti, Pep Guardiola or Jurgen Klopp, before the club opted for David Moyes.
Last December saw Ancelotti, Guardiola and Mourinho all available for a new role come the start of next season, and whilst the former two were quickly snapped up, Mourinho has since remained a free agent.
Reports suggest he has turned down a return to Real Madrid and Inter Milan, as well as AS Roma and the possibility of replacing Laurent Blanc at Paris St-Germain, instead holding out for his “dream” job, one he has coveted for many years.
One Spanish journalist even went as far as saying that he broke down into tears after learning of the decision to appoint Moyes as Ferguson’s successor, overlooking Mourinho in the process, highlighting the emotion behind our new manager and the desire for his new role.
Hopefully the good times will return at United, and whilst being spoilt with success in the past 26 years, the fans deserve to at least be challenging for major honours, with Mourinho the man entrusted to bring back such days.
This is a man who labelled United “a monster club” even when he was in charge of Chelsea, and this kind of mentality and realisation is just what the club needs going forward.