Without any doubt yes, and it could be the very reason the ‘Special One’ agreed to sign a four-year contract this week. They both loved to hate each other.
Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has had his fights and arguments with his outgoing Barcelona counterpart Pep Guardiola over the years. But starting next season, he will have to find a new ‘rival’ to match his notorious antics.
Guardiola is parting ways with his beloved Barca at the end of the season, but he will leave behind a legacy that many believe was the best for any Barcelona manager.
Over the past four seasons, the world has witnessed a level of football that not many teams or coaches if any will be able to reproduce. To borrow one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s famous lines, “Not in my lifetime”.
The Manchester United manager was recently forced to eat a big chunk of a humble pie when his team’s “noisy neighbours” of Manchester City won the English Premier League title.
But now that Manchester City have managed to do something that Ferguson had claimed they won’t (at least not in his lifetime), for Barca, we can only wait and see if any other team can do what Guardiola has done in terms of success and style.
Disregarding Friday night’s Kings Cup final against Athletic Bilbao, Guardiola has enjoyed 13 titles in four years—not many coaches have been that successful in such a short period of time.
With Guardiola leaving the Nou Camp, Mourinho will now have to find himself a new ‘rival’. Since the Portuguese’s arrival in Madrid, the two have battled in the Champions League, the La Liga and Copa del Rey.
Is Guardiola’s replacement Vilanova the right man for the job? Or will it be Mourinho’s turn to dominate Spain and Guardiola did during his time at Barcelona coach?
One factor that plays in Barca’s favour is the fact that Vilanova has been Guardiola’s right hand man all these years, which means he won’t have to do much adapting to his squad considering he already knows the ins and outs of the Barcelona team, as a Catalan himself, itself helps the team’s cause.
The only concern could be if he decides to change and do things to his liking, or if he will keep the same style of play that has flabbergasted the football world and created all sorts of ‘enemies’ (most of them just haters) for all these years.
Mourinho signed a new four-year deal on Tuesday after leading the club to its first La Liga crown in four years - Barca’s stranglehold on the title.
In winning the league title, Mourinho’s team did not only become the first Spanish team to reach 100 points in La Liga history, but also set a record with 121 league goals.
It goes without saying that Real Madrid not only has incredible financial power that probably any club in the world, but regardless, they also possess one of the best coaches and squad in the world, and are likely to improve on it for next season.
Mourinho wouldn’t have signed a long contract without guarantees of adding to his squad as he will be looking to make Real Madrid the force to reckon with in Europe. After La Liga, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to guess his next target.
Mourinho has the chance to build a dynasty of his own in the La Liga if he calms down a little bit as did for most part of the just concluded season.
As for Vilanova, he may have been part of the Barcelona family for years, but he will more than likely try to change things to the way he likes—as he wouldn’t want to be seen as if duplicating his predecessor’s style.
If he indeed does that, it could end up backfiring or even make Barcelona better, but we will have to wait and see. But one thing for sure is that Mourinho will sense weakness knowing the man, who has turned Barcelona into the most feared team in the world, isn’t there anymore.