On Monday, Jose Mourinho, became the new coach of Real Madrid, presented at the Santiago Bernabu like he was the latest generation of Cadillac, the hybrid model sure to keep the company afloat. Mourinho signed a four-year deal with the Spanish side. The signing makes Mourinho Real Madrid's ninth coach in six years.
Not many coaches can name their own price much less the team they will next coach but after guiding Inter Milan to claiming the Serie A league title, the intra-Italian Coppa Italia and, most importantly, the best-Euro-club Champions League title, the coach from Portugal let it be known Real Madrid would be the next team on his resume.
For its part, Real Madrid smashed spending records and highest points tally and still finished second to Barcelona. Mourinho, who has become one of the few coaches to win titles in two different countries, plans to do so in Spain, cementing his name in soccer history as the one and only to do so in three.
Jose Mourinho is to soccer what Donald Trump is to architecture. Where others see a canvas to create art, Mourinho and Trump see platforms for their egos, their legacies.
This has its use.
Sir Alex Ferguson has been the manager of Manchester United since November, 1986, and is often held up as the example of how management stability provides foundational strength from which championship teams grow.
Man U's trophies: 11 League titles, 5 FA Cups, 4 Carling Cups, 4 European Cup/UEFA Champions League titles, 1 Intercontinental Cup and 1 FIFA Club World Cup 26 major trophies in all would suggest this is true.
During the same time, Real Madrid has had 15 different managers and 20 managerial changes (several coaches have been hired, replaced, then hired again at a later date). During that time they have won 11 League titles, 2 Copa del Rey, 8 Supercopa de Espaa, 3 Euro Cups, 1 UEFA Cup, 1 UEFA Supercup, and 2 FIFA Club World Cups, for a total of 28 major trophies.
The worlds largest sports-bankroll, it could be argued, is an alternative to stability.
Lined up this way, the scoreboard is the only arbiter. Will Jose bring the Champions League cup to Madrid? The league title matters only in that it means Barcelona comes in below Real Madrid. The Alpha and the Omega of this signing is: Will Mourinho bring The Best Team in Europe bragging rights back to Los Blancos? If anyone has the ability to convince Cristiano Ronaldo that to be one of history's best he must play on teams that are history's best, it's Mourinho. Money-wise, it's assumed the wallet is open and he'll be able to get the older, midfield players he'll need to win the grueling campaign. But Real Madrid coaches have won it all and been fired for not providing enough attacking flair and Jose knows this. A betting person might lay odds that Real Madrid will bring home the Best-Euro-Club cup in the 2010-11 season but the smart money says he'll be gone before his contract expires.
Later this week: The World Cup games to watch.