Fenerbahçe appoint 'The Special One' Jose Mouhrino as their new manager

Published on 3 June 2024 at 16:00

The 61 year old received a raucous reception from tens of thousands of Fenerbahce fans at the Sukra Saracoglu Stadium on Sunday evening, as Jose Mouhrino was unveiled as the club's new head coach for the 2024 - 25 season.

It will signal the end of the two-time Champions League winners 20 years managing in Europe's top five leagues, as he embarks on a quest to take Fenerbahçe back to the promise land and win the Turkish title.


The Portuguese manager stated to the Fenerbahçe fans:

"I promise you from this moment, I belong to your family. This shirt is my skin"

"Since the moment I met the President, I wanted to play for you because you are the soul of this club"

The Yellow Canaries finished second in the Turkish Super Lig this season under Ismail Kartal acclaiming 99 points, but were unsuccessful in stopping arch rivals Galatasaray claim a second consecutive league title.

Kartal left his position as the club's head coach on Friday despite losing just one game in the league last campaign. It was his third stint at the Turkish giants previously managing in 2014-15 and 2021-22, as well as being assistant manager between 2010 to 2014.

However, the opportunity to bring in a serial winner in Jose Mouhrino was seen by club President Ali Koc as crucial in breaking the 19-time Turkish champions 10 year curse without the title.

Mourinho has only gone trophyless in one of his last seven managerial seasons, last delivering AS Roma their first European trophy since 1961 winning the inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League in 2022.

The former Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham manager also reached the Europa League final in 2023 with the Giallorossi losing on penalties to Sevilla before he was sacked in January by the Italian outfit.

A 2-1 defeat in the famous Derby Della Capitale to Lazio which saw Mouhrino sent off for the third time of the season and Roma bow out of the Coppa Italia in the Quarter Finals signalled the end of his two and a half year spell in Rome.


One of his primary targets is to qualify for the Champions League, Fenerbahçe last reached the group stage in 2008-09 losing in the preliminary qualifying play-offs in seven of the last 15 seasons.

The only manager to ever win all three European trophies, Mouhrino stressed how difficult qualifying for the Champions League next season will be with three qualifying rounds awaiting and eight of his players travelling to the Euros this summer.

He will re-unite with former Manchester United midfielder Fred, who he signed for £47m from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2018 and has a depth of experience at his disposal with 38 year old Edin Dzeko and 35 year old Dusan Tadic.

Dzeko departed AS Roma for Inter Milan in the summer Mouhrino joined the club in 2021 and scored 25 goals in his debut season at Fenerbahçe last campaign while, former Ajax forward Tadic registered a combined 24 goals and assists in 2023-24.

The Istanbul outfit scored the most goals in the league last season (99) but are set to lose former Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi this summer as a free agent which has prompted the club to target a new striker for Mourinho's maiden season.

It is reported the 'Special One' has earmarked two former players at AS Roma in Romelu Lukaku who could be available in the summer for £20m and Paulo Dybala who has a release clause of just £10m.

Mouhrino signed Belgium striker, Lukaku, for £75m at Manchester United in 2017 and brought him on loan to Rome this summer. Another marquee name linked with Fenerbahçe is Al Nassr playmaker Anderson Talisca formerly of SL Benfica and Besiktas.


His biggest challenge in ending the club's trophy drought is Galatasaray who boast a richness of wealth and a squad brimming with superstars such as Wilfried Zaha, Dries Mertens and Mauro Icardi.

He is not the first pedigree manager to journey to Türkiye with their eye on silverware; Roberto Mancini, Jorge Jesus and Fernando Santos have all undergone stints at the one of the big three Turkish Behemoths and all struggled to earn the trust of the fans. 

Nevertheless, if any manager can do it it will be Mouhrino who has won 26 trophies in his decorated managerial career. There is the possibility of a messy bust-up between Mouhrino and Fenerbahçe, a manager notorious for being outspoken and fiery but if he adopts it like his home and delivers on his promises he could become an eternal icon of Istanbul.

It's a roll of the dice from Fenerbahçe President Ali Koc to spice Turkish football up and it has set up a highly anticipated blockbuster title race for next season as well as attract more eyes on the club.

Written by Lewis Eadie

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