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My Grandfather's Legacy - The Other Mourinho Takes on Portugal

Daniel Mourinho's journey back home
Started on 4 May 2014 by CarlosV96
Latest Reply on 22 February 2015 by CarlosV96
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My name is Daniel Mourinho

You may know my father, José. He currently manages Chelsea, and has enjoyed successful stints with Real Madrid, Inter Milan, and FC Porto. Nobody knows I am his son, because I came before his wife, before he was a manager, before he was anything special. I was just a lovechild.

I have never spoken to him. But he is my father.

I grew up first in an orphanage in Povoa de Varzim, in northern Portugal, before running away to England at age sixteen. Upon arriving in England, in 2005, I was taken on by my father's club, Chelsea.

I spent four years in the Chelsea academy, trying to gain access to the man I knew was my biological father. Countless hours on the training pitch, even a handful of training sessions with the Chelsea Reserve squad, but I could never even get a sniff with the first team.

I transferred to League One Norwich, where I excelled for three seasons before suffering a horrific knee injury at age 23. Despite multiple surgeries, I was never able to regain professional form, and retired from football the following year at age 24.

I've spent the past two years traipsing across Europe, seeing the sights, living the privileged life of a hostel-dwelling tourist. I stumbled across my coaching badges in Scotland while staying for three months in Glasgow, which has brought me home.

Well, that's a lie. I'm back in Povoa de Varzim because I ran out of money to travel with. Hence, I'm here. Estadio do Varzim Sport Club, the illustrious home of Varzim Sport Club.

When I was a kid in the late-90s and early-2000s, the local club was a shambles. Flip-flopping from the bottom of the Primeira Liga and the top of the Segunda Liga, Varzim S.C. could never seem to figure things out on or off the pitch.

Seems as though in my time away they've foundered into the lower depths of the Segunda Liga, and actually managed to be relegated to the poorhouse known as the Portuguese Third Division in 2010-11, where they've been mired ever since.

I was called to this shithole stadium by a man named Manuel Pedro Faria. On the phone he'd sounded like one of those tiny little Portuguese men that are so stereotypically filled with a sense of self-righteousness and superiority. I can't wait to meet him...

Well, I was certainly right about Manuel Faria. Typically pompous Portuguese chairman. Probably pockets at least half of his players' proper salaries. I hate him already.

"Senhor Faria, tudo bem? Everything good," I ask, breaking out my rusty but obviously still fluent Portuguese.

"Everything's fine. You're Daniel, sim?" He asks with a steely, cold, and strangely condescending look.

"Sim, sou. I'm here. What did you want to discuss," I ask as coldly as possible while taking in the stadium's err, charms.

"I'm here to offer you a job. This club is obviously not what it once was, and you know that. You've grown up here. I read your file," he says sadly.

"File? What file? How do you know I grew up here," I ask, suddenly freaked out.

"Daniel, let's not play games. You know the Portuguese government keeps files on each orphan they take care of, and those files are private for up to ten years after the ward leaves the care of the state. You ran away at age sixteen, and now you're, oh, twenty-six," he states, with a chilly, knowing glare.

"Damn the state," I yell abruptly, "You have no right to blackmail me into anything. I've not done anything wrong!" What does this creep know about my past?

"Daniel. Let's cut the crap- this club is only trending downwards right now. I know who you are. You, Senhor Mourinho, are related to the one and only manager in charge of Chelsea. Your grandfather, Mourinho Félix, managed in this very stadium back in the early 80s. I know you went to Chelsea's academy specifically, probably worked your tail off, to try and meet your father. To try and build the father-son bond you never had. I can help you," he says in a chilly, inquisitive tone.

That's it, enough. I'm out. I stand up and start to make for the stadium exit. I get halfway down the exit aisle before Faria, still seated, bellows at me- "I know your grandfather! I know your grandfather, and he can help this situation. Come back here!"

Son of a gun brings family into it. Coming was a mistake...

I head back up the stairs and re-take my seat next to this despicable excuse for a chairman...

An hour later I leave the stadium with a contract in my left hand and a Varzim S.C. training jacket in my right.

This could be my last chance to connect with my father...

Club History - Varzim S.C.

Founded December 25th, 1915, Varzim S.C. have been a sort of journeyman club in the various lower levels of Portuguese football.

Playing in regional leagues until the early 1960s, the pride of Povoa de Varzim became First Division mainstays in the mid 60's, spending thirteen seasons in Portugal's top flight before being relegated in 1970-71. Their highest finish during this time period came in 1969-70 when Varzim finished 6th in the top flight.

The club became notorious for flip-flopping from division to division through promotion and relegation.

In the 21st century, the club has seen itself fall from the Primeira Liga (relegated in 2001-02) all the way to the Third Division. The club has suffered from serious financial difficulty, and attendance has also dropped off.

In terms of current notable players, only Helder Postiga (Valencia) and Yazalde (SC Braga) jump off the list on the team's webpage.

Times are tough in Varzim, both economically and on the football pitch...

Club Specs
Operating Status - Semi-Professional
Reputation - National
Chairman Status - Loves the club
Finances - Okay
Estimated Value - 1.4m euros (Very high for POR 3rd Division)
Stadium - Estadio de Varzim Sport Club
Stadium Capacity - 7050 (all-seater)
Training Facilities - Good
Youth Facilities - Good

Next update - Squad Overview!
Brilliant start, good luck :)
CarlosV96's avatar Group CarlosV96
8 yearsEdited

Initial Roster Thoughts
While our roster is a little thin, I think we definitely have a team to win promotion.
In goal we've got a veteran 'keeper who is good enough for this level.
Defense is a little thin (what isn't at this level though), but I'm hoping to bring in some pieces.
The midfield is heavily bolstered by some good loanees from top flight clubs.
Up front, To Barbosa is an excellent loanee.

Debating whether to run with a clogged midfield or committing more men up front.


Potential Starting XI...

I head for the stadium exit, and glance at my watch. It's 9 o'clock in the evening, and I've just run my first training session of the pre-season with my entire first team. The lads were actually quite responsive, and some of the bigger FIFA enthusiasts even remembered me from FIFA when I played with Norwich! Funny stuff.

I reach the exit just as a hand clutches my shoulder from behind-

"Good evening Daniel, how was training," asks that arsehole of a chairman Faria.

"Manuel! You scared the jesus out of me! Yes, training was fine," I mumble, still recovering from the shock of realizing I wasn't alone in this concrete coffin that built in the 1920s.

"I've been meaning to have a word with you, but haven't found you anywhere!"

"Well then? Get on with it," I mutter, poorly disguising my distaste for the man in front of me who constantly smelled of cheap cigars.

"Seeing as it's July 1st, the transfer window has opened up. I just wanted to let you know that, in case you had any ideas about transferring players into the club, we have an outstanding debt of approximately 922000€. If things stay the same, our debt will sit at nearly 1.5m euros by the end of the season. So, needless to say, no transfers this window," he says cheerily.

This guy, this arsehole, gives me the reins without telling me the club is almost ready to fold? Come on!

Putting on a brave face, I look him squarely in the face, and say, "Listen to me Manuel. I don't like you. And for whatever reason, you don't seem to like me either. You will let me buy players, or I will walk out of this stadium and never return. I've been through a lot in my life, but I'm fully prepared to get up and leave Varzim for good. You know I'm going to be a damn good manager, so do you really want me to leave," I pause for effect, "You will increase my wage budget tomorrow. Otherwise, I'm leaving."

With that, I strut off the pitch and down the tunnel, realizing I ought to start packing my small well-traveled suitcase because I'd probably just talked my way out of my first managerial job.

July 12th, 2013

I contemplate my life as I walk down the beach in this depressed tourist town which I just happened to grow up in.

I was embarking on a new career, in a familiar field. Just like my biological dad, José.

Every time I think of José, of dad, I feel a pain in my chest. He knew about me. He was at the hospital the day I was delivered. He knew I existed, he knew my name.

Yet never in my twenty-two years of life memory had he ever made any attempt to get in touch with me, to connect.

As I stumble down this beach, the day before my first match in charge of a (somewhat) professional football club, I wonder what my dad is doing. He's probably off in East Asia playing in some stupid friendly cup, being wined and dined with his family.

I stop walking. His family. The one he cares about. The one I'm not a part of.

And I keep walking, realizing negative thoughts will do little to help me as I prepare for one of our biggest tests of the pre-season- Primeira Liga regulars Gil Vicente await.
Good sir, this is an amazing start!! I beg you, stick to this story and keep writing, so far it's been spectacular :D :D
CarlosV96's avatar Group CarlosV96
8 yearsEdited

Pre-Season Wrap-Up

All things considered, it wasn't a terrible pre-season for us. We had some good showings against clubs operating on a much larger budget and competing in higher divisions, but we also struggled to beat very small/amateur clubs towards the end of it, which is a concern.

The Gil Vicente match was difficult to watch, as my players stumbled all over the pitch pretending to be a team. We were down 3-nil at halftime, and Vitor Hugo picked up our only goal.

The Aves match was excellent, as our narrow 4-1-2-1-2 worked to perfection against the team that nearly won promotion to the Primeira Liga last season. Despite conceding in the third minute, loanee To Barbosa helped us storm back with a brace.

I experimented with a new-look v-shape 4-1-2-2-1 when we traveled to Fao, and the results were mixed. While transfer-listed winger Amilton scored a brace, we lacked numbers in the middle of the pitch.

I reverted back to the 4-1-2-1-2 for the nationally-televised friendly against Benfica. Despite being outshot 18-3, we kept the score respectable by strangling the match and clogging the midfield. Rui Figuereido picked up our only goal.

The last two pre-season matches were awful, as we drew both against amateur clubs which we're affiliated with. Not the best way to end the pre-season, but what can you do?


Due to a very tight wage budget, it took large amounts of begging, budget adjusting, and general cajoling to find a spare cent to spend.

As a result, I transfer listed some of my overpaid players (Nani is making SIX HUNDRED EUROS A WEEK), but none were sold.

I managed to bring in two solid free transfers:

Goncalo Costa is a 22 year-old right back who we signed from Segunda Liga Tondela. While there's nothing spectacular about Costa's physical game, he's mentally ready for the big time. My assistant believes he can develop into a solid Segunda Liga right back in the future, so why not?

36 year-old Rincon is just a safety net for loanee To Barbosa and regular Vitor Hugo, but nonetheless the Brazilian can play. He's spent the last decade split between the Primeira Liga (Maritimo, Pacos Ferreira) and the Segunda Liga (Santa Clara, Sporting Covilha), so I'm hoping he can provide some offense.

Great to see you start your story up mate, my friend has a great one with Varzim going on FM12, I hope you can do the same. Like Varzim, my Oriental team is knee deep in debt, so I can't afford anything :/

Good luck with the story and save!
What a brilliant start! Keep it up :)
That's a bloody amazing start. Keep it up.
@Walter - No kidding! There is literally no money at all. I'm going to have to rely on some serious loan signings year-in, year-out. Luckily, I'm affiliated with three Primeira Liga teams- Benfica, Rio Ave, and Maritimo! They should each be good for at least one young stud per season.

@Jonaldinho - Thanks mate! Hoping for a nice long save here!

@HamoudiLFC - Thanks mate! Rough draw at Crystal Palace today haha
CarlosV96's avatar Group CarlosV96
8 yearsEdited

I stare out into the night sky from the balcony of my cheap condo.

It's a pleasant enough evening, 25 degrees and not a cloud in the sky.

The beauty of the town of Povoa de Varzim is that, since it's so small, you can see all of the stars at night.

It's really bizarre for me to be so reflective and emotional- I'm normally a cold-hearted rock emotionally. But tonight is not an average night in the somewhat pitiful existence of Daniel Mourinho, no sir. Tonight is the final evening before my competitive debut as manager of Varzim S.C. Tonight is my last night as a technically-unemployed retired footballer. Tonight is the last night of a sad, questioning chapter in my li-


What the...

*Wheeeere the streets have no, name! Wheeere the streets have no, name!*

Quickly, I realize that I'm getting a call on my iPhone. Looking at the call display on the screen, I realize with a sinking feeling that it's...Manuel Faria. Satan dressed in khakis and an undersized white t-shirt.


"Daniel! Tudo bem? Eh pa? Ola," grumbles the voice on the other end of the line.

I glance at the time on my watch- 1:15 AM. Manuel Faria would be the only chairman to get completely hammered the night before his club's home opener.

"I'm fine Manuel. What do you want? It's 1AM!"

"I just wanted to're counting on you. This club...she's my life. All that's left. Maria left me...and now Varzim, Sport, all I have left. Don't...don't disappoint me. Your grandfather, your's in-"

"My grandfather! You said when I signed my contract that you'd get me in touch with my grandfather you lying arsehole!" I bellow, forgetting I was sitting on a balcony overlooking the still-bustling main street.

"Mourinho Félix...he lives out on Estoril Road...doesn't leave the house much. See him (hic) whenever...son."


What a guy. Guess I'll have to pay the grandfather I never knew a visit after our afternoon match against Felgueiras. Let's see...only twelve and a half hours until kick-off...

CarlosV96's avatar Group CarlosV96
8 yearsEdited

August 25th, 2013

We've done it. We won my first match in charge, and it felt fantastic!

Albeit, we weren't exactly world-beaters, as we narrowly scraped by newly-promoted Felgueiras by a score of one-nil. Youngster Nani scored the lone goal on twenty minutes and in all honesty his shot shouldn't have even troubled the 'keeper, but lo' and behold it found the back of the net.

I'm back in my office now, and I quickly check my phone for the other scores in the division:
  • Varzim 1, Felgueiras 0. Att- 800
  • Joane 4, Lixa 1. Att- 404
  • Ribeirao 4, Oliveirense 1. Att- 683
  • Tirsense 2, Famalicao 3. Att- 760
  • Vizela 1, Guimaraes "B" 3. Att- 654.

Alright, so this isn't exactly the EPL attendance-wise. We face Lixa away next weekend, so they'll be hungry and looking to get their first points.

Now, to the real quest- the one for my family. Estoril Road..
The only picture I have of my grandfather, from the late 60s.

As I head for the stadium exit, I suddenly hear an old, worn voice behind me-

"Why the hell were you playing a 4-1-3-2 this afternoon, son?"

"Um, forgive me but I have no idea who you are. I've actually got to be on my way, I'm hoping to meet someone I haven't seen in a while," I lie easily.

"Well who is it? If they still care about this lousy club they were probably in this three-quarters empty stadium earlier," he quips maliciously.

"Alright, first off- this is a club with great history for your information. This club has spent over fifteen years in the Primei-"

"Quit boasting about a club that you've never seen play before this season," he suddenly interrupts, a hint of anger flushing through his brilliantly green eyes. "You know nothing about this club or this city. I give you three months before that idiot Faria fires you!"

"Who are you old man? You're nothing but a local village idiot who doesn't know zilch about football or how to run a club," I practically spit at him.

Suddenly offended, the old man seems to straighten up, gaining dignity and almost commanding respect as he stood to his full height, towering over me. "I am Mourinho Félix, young man. I played and managed in Portugal's top flight for years. My son currently manages one of the richest teams in the world, Chelsea. Have you no respect?"

Shrinking in an instant, I mumble an apology before sullenly pressing past the man and hurrying out the stadium exit, blindly onto the road. Away from that man.

Away from my grandfather, I realize, sprinting off down the cobblestone street with tears unabashedly running down my face.

You are reading "My Grandfather's Legacy - The Other Mourinho Takes on Portugal".

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