“No man is an island”, said the late Renaissance English poet John Donne. Whether the matter concerns football, politics, economics, or any other field that stresses the importance of money and big names, there will always be those who scrutinise behind the shadows, shaping monarchies, tyrants, and rulers, all of whom boast an immense public figure and are the constant centre of attention wherever they go.

Jose Mourinho is hardly an iron-fisted dictator, nor is he an all-mighty king ruling over the helpless subjects under the influence of a “divine” power. But what Mourinho is, is an accomplished coach and trainer, who during a relatively short career so far as a manager, was able to grab silverware and with it attention anywhere he went, from modest FC Porto, to nouveau-riche Chelsea, to Italian champions Internazionale, before landing at the world’s biggest and most demanding club, Real Madrid.

When “The Special One” finally decides to put down his notebook, he might well enter the record books as the greatest coach ever to have been involved in the game. Yet if it had not been for the other individuals surrounding him, his personal team, Mourinho might not have enjoyed the levels of success he has so far experienced.

So who are the Portuguese’s current team at Real Madrid? Here’s a rundown:

Aitor Karanka (Assistant Manager)

As is well known, Jose Mourinho likes his right-hand man to be a club insider, a person fused with the team’s history and part of its success. At Inter, the man in question was Giuseppe Baresi, and when Mourinho finally signed on the dotted line at the Bernabeu, many believed that a former Galactico, one of the likes of Luis Figo or Zinedine Zidane, would share the bench with the ex-Chelsea tactician for years to come. While it was none of the previous two, “The Special One” still chose former Madrid great Aitor Karanka as his deputy.

Born in the heart of the Basque country, Karanka’s senior career got under way with giants Athletic Bilbao. Five trophy-less years with Los Leones prompted Jupp Heynckes, then in charge of Real Madrid, to sign him for Los Blancos. Although often not a first-team regular, Karanka still managed to reap trophies with Los Blancos, most notably the famous three Champions League accolades at the turn of the century, the league title, as well as the Intercontinental trophy – the FIFA Club World Cup’s precursor – and the Spanish Supercup. After another five years at Real, he switched back to Bilbao, where he played for four years, before finally hanging up his boots in 2006 after a short spell with MLS side Colorado Rapids.

Aitor Karanka was stunned when reports surfaced that he was to be hired as part of Mourinho’s entourage. Back in Madrid now, the Portuguese manager shares a convivial relationship with Karanka, asking his opinion on wide ranging matters and using his Bernabeu knowledge and skills as he tries to put Real Madrid back on the highest pedestal.


Rui Faria (Fitness Trainer)

Rui Faria is one of Mourinho’s oldest staff members; the two met when José Mourinho was still an unknown figure in the game, coaching Liga Sagres minnows Uniao de Leiria back in the 2001/02 season. Mourinho found in Faria an exceptional fitness talent, and he was swiftly taken by his ideas on how players should train, especially with the ball at their feet. The duo have since become inseparable, with Faria ensuring Mourinho had players in peak physical condition available. Needless to say, Faria has partaken in numerous successes as they worked in England and Italy, before finally landing in Spain.

Silvino Louro (Goalkeeping Coach)

Born and bred in the town of Setubal – just like Mourinho – Silvino Louro started his playing career as a goalkeeper at local club Vitoria de Setubal, playing there for five years before making the transition to Vitoria de Guimaraes. After two years at that club, he earned a high-profile transfer to Portuguese giants Benfica, where he would remain for ten years, winning the Portuguese league on four occasions, the domestic cup three times, and the Portuguese Super Cup once. "Silvino" was a member of the Eagles side that reached the final of the European Cup both in 1988 and 1990, but lost on each occasion, to PSV Eindhoven and AC Milan respectively. In the twilight of his career, the keeper left Benfica for a one-year spell back at Vitoria Setubal, before joining Porto in 1995, where he won the league title twice and the Super Cup once. After two years at the Dragons, Louro transferred to Salgueiros, finally choosing to retire at the end of 2000.

He first met Mourinho at Porto, and like Faria, has travelled with his countryman wherever he has gone. An accomplished goalkeeping coach, several of his disciples are world-class keepers, and have won the Best Goalkeeper Award, handed out by UEFA, under his tutelage. Such names include Vitor Baia, Petr Cech, and Julio Cesar. His training methods have been in-demand from a number of academies, as "Silvino" is constantly improving his knowledge of the goalkeeping position and what is expected from it as it progresses over the years. Coaching the world’s best custodian, Iker Casillas, will certainly be his biggest challenge yet.

Jose Morais (Technical Assistant)

An ex-professional, Jose Morais’s career got under way at Uniao de Leiria, where he stayed for two seasons, before making the switch to Dragoes de Alferrarede for another two years. A one-year stint at Atletico Club de Portugal followed, before spending the 1989/90 season with Sport Club Praiense and retiring the following year with Sport Club Penafiel.

Switching to coaching, Morais held various positions, with the most notable being the manager of Yemen. It was at Benfica where he supposedly first met Jose Mourinho. As Andre Villas Boas left Mourinho’s staff back in 2009 to take the head coach’s job at Academica in Portugal, the Real Madrid boss recalled Morais, nine years later, to be part of his treble winning staff at Inter in 2009. An expert tactician and scout, Morais does nearly all of his coach’s homework on other teams. Their successful time with the Nerazzurri prompted Mourinho to take him to Madrid as part of his Los Blancos adventure.