Comment – Porto-gal!
Having taken every hurdle on their way to the final of the Champions League with ease, Monaco also proved to be no match for José Mourinho’s all-conquering Porto team. Following last season’s UEFA Cup triumph, Carlos Alberto, Deco and Alenitchev scored the goals that brought Europe’s most prestigious trophy back to Portugal for the first time since 1987 when the same club defeated Bayern Munich in Vienna. The feat is all the more remarkable because the team is largely home-grown and low-budget by today’s standards, eclipsing Europe’s elite in many cases, assembled at a cost of many, many millions. Mourinho places the team above all, a homogeneous unit instilled with the desire to win, something the galaxy of stars at Madrid, Chelsea or indeed Monaco simply cannot compete against. This spirit has also brought another domestic championship and may yet see the Cup travel north as Benfica are being investigated for the use of an illegal player. Unfortunately, success has its price and the manager has become the most coveted coach in Europe. He will leave taking at least three of Porto’s stars with him but his legacy is the stuff of legends that will live forever.