The legendary Portuguese boss, who was recently sacked by Roma, has worked with hundreds of players over the years but only a select few have thrived under him at multiple clubs. Lukaku first worked under Mourinho at Chelsea but struggled to make the grade, spending time on loan at West Bromwich Albion and Everton before joining the Toffees on a permanent basis. Mourinho was clearly in awe of Eto’o and his attacking prowess, saying in 2009: “Eto’o is the best striker that I have worked with.” He later chose to bring the forward to Chelsea during his second spell in charge of the Blues but things did not work out as planned, with Eto’o branding Mourinho a ‘fool’ shortly after his departure.
The Ivorian striker scored 73 goals under the guidance of Mourinho over two spells at Stamford Bridge, cementing his status as one of the club’s best-loved icons. Carvalho, meanwhile, was snapped up at both Chelsea and Real Madrid and featured more often under Mourinho than any other player, with the exception of John Terry. He failed to pull up any trees during his six-month loan spell with the Blues, though, and is best remembered for missing a sitter on his first Premier League start before being sent off in the same match. Michael Essien had a better time under Mourinho at Chelsea, establishing himself as a key asset before reuniting with his former boss at Real Madrid in 2013.
Essien’s former team-mate Nemanja Matic returned to Chelsea in 2014 at Mourinho’s request after spending two years away at Benfica. The Serbian midfield general went on to join United three years later, explaining that he ‘couldn’t turn down’ the opportunity to play under Mourinho again.