Former Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho recently spoke with Portuguese television station Sic (via Marca) where he reminisced about what he felt was the he worst moment of his managerial career.
“If I have to choose the worst moment, it’s that elimination with Real Madrid.”
“We were the best team in Europe, without a doubt, we won LaLiga smashing all the records for points and goals and we would’ve won that final, I don’t have any doubt.”
“What was most cruel for me was that in the shootout we chose Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaká and Sergio Ramos, they were dead certs from the penalty spot and the guys who missed were those who never miss, it sunk me.”
No doubt the loss to Bayern in the 2012 Champions League semi-final was one of the more heartbreaking modern losses the club has endured. Clearly Mourinho feels the same way about the loss.
Real lost the first leg at the Allianz Arena by a score of 2-1. Los Blancos would go on to win the second leg 2-1, which evened the aggregate at 3-3 and took the match into extra time.
As Mourinho recalls Ronaldo, Kaká and Ramos all missed their penalty kicks which led to Bayern facing Chelsea in the Champions League Final. Bayern went on to lose in another penalty shootout while Real Madrid would win their 32nd La Liga title.
No doubt it was one of the most talented Real Madrid sides this century. As Mourinho mentions, Real broke the La Liga single season point record by winning 100 points on the season. That same record would be equaled by Barcelona the very next season.
Real Madrid also broke the record for most goals scored in a single La Liga season with 121 goals, a record that still stands. They did all of this while wearing arguably the greatest kit sets the club has ever donned.
Mourinho made the 2011-12 one of the most prolific goalscoring teams in world football. They were arguably one of the best counter-attacking clubs of all time and the proof is how many points they won and the ridiculous amount of goals they put up in a single season.
So with all that in mind it’s really no shock that Mourinho would view this as one of the most devastating losses of his career given the potential to win the European title that season.
It’s worked out quite well since at least for Real Madrid, given the incredible three straight Champions League titles under Zidane. But, it will always be a ‘what-if’ had three of Real’s best penalty takers not missed their shots in the semi-final.