Friday, June 18, 2010

Bradley completes US fightback

USA fought back from two goals down to earn a battling 2-2 draw with Slovenia and keep their FIFA World Cup™ hopes alive in an exciting Group C clash at Ellis Park.
Matjaz Kek's men looked on course for a second straight win in the section when they took a 2-0 lead into the break through Valter Birsa and Zlatan Ljubijankic but the Americans hit back as Landon Donovan narrowed the deficit before Michael Bradley equalised eight minutes from time. The result left Slovenia top of Group C with four points ahead of England's meeting with Algeria later in the day, and ensured the Americans remain undefeated with two draws ahead of their third game against the Algerians.
An exciting contest opened with Birsa blasting Slovenia into an early lead. There were just 13 minutes on the clock when the midfielder collected the ball some 25 yards from goal and left Tim Howard rooted to the spot with an expertly-guided strike to the goalkeeper's left. Bradley's men sought a response and came close when midfielder Francisco Torres fired in an inswinging free-kick from out wide that drew a fingertip save from Samir Handanovic. Donovan then looked set to tap in Clint Dempsey's low cross only for defender Miso Brecko to get a decisive touch to clear the ball.
Slovenia looked to be in dreamland in the 42nd minute when Ljubijankic doubled their lead. Milivoje Novakovic played a defence-splitting pass through to Ljubijankic who, with the Americans appealing in vain for offside, slipped the ball coolly past Howard. Yet Donovan threw the Americans a lifeline three minutes after the restart when Bostjan Cesar failed to deal with a ball down the right touchline, allowing the LA Galaxy man a free run into the box. Cutting in from the right, Donovan lashed a superb shot high above Handanovic at the near post.
With the Slovenia defence struggling to cope with the power and aerial strength of the imposing Jozy Altidore, Bradley's men kept the pressure on and the coach's son grabbed the US the point their efforts deserved – a father-and-son first in the FIFA World Cup. Altidore nodded a high ball down into the path of the onrushing Borussia Moenchengladbach midfielder and he fired emphatically into the roof of the net. The Americans might even have won the game only for referee Koman Coulibaly to rule out a goal from Maurice Edu, who volleyed home Donovan's free-kick from the right. There was still time for Novakovic to threaten with a header at the other end but his effort was held comfortably by Howard.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


It may have been freezing elsewhere in the country, but when Honduras and Chile met each other head-on at Mbombela stadium’s World Cup opener on Wednesday, it was in glorious sunshine.

Mpumalanga province, of which host city Nelspruit is the administrative capital, is home to a spectacular array of scenic attractions. Of these, the Kruger National Park, with its two million hectares of unspoilt African bushveld, is undoubtedly the best-known.
It was with this in mind that Cape Town-based chief architect Mike Bell tackled the brief to design a stadium for the province. He wanted to reflect the area’s important connection to the Kruger Park, and came up with 18 giraffe supports as a signature feature. Facing outward, they patiently guard the surrounding rocky outcrops.
Inside, the liberal use of bright colours was inspired by the province’s native Ndebele tribe’s way of decorating their homes, and zebra-striped seats complete the wildlife theme.
It has been met with rave reviews. As the predominantly Chilean-favouring crowd started streaming in, visitors were enthusiastically photographing each other against the backdrop of the giraffes.
Matias Vergara, a Chilean student, commented on the stadium’s setting. “I like the nature and hills around it,” he said. “You don’t feel like you’re anywhere near a city.”
Others liked the ease of access and the abundance of ablution facilities, but mostly appreciated the stadium’s quirkiness. “It’s just such a bright and breezy space,” remarked a visitor from Gauteng. “You can’t help but feel happy.”
“We’re very proud of our stadium,” commented Mike Bruwer, a Nelspruit resident. “It’s a bit like us - not too serious.”

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Who is Spain's most important player?

Spain will begin the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ as the favourites for gold. It’s hardly surprising, given that Iker Casillas, Carles Puyol, Xavi, Cesc Fabregas, Andres Iniesta, David Villa and Fernando Torres are all considered among the best players in their respective positions in the sport.
who is really your spanish most important Player. your thought and comment are always welcome.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Past meetings
In a twist of fate often seen in the competition, Maradona faces Nigeria in his first match as a coach in the FIFA World Cup, almost 16 years to the day since his last match as an Argentina player against the very same team.
Did you know?
England suffered one of the most surprising defeats in FIFA World Cup history in 1950, when, in their maiden campaign, they succumbed 1-0 to USA, with Joe Gaetjens grabbing the now legendary winner. The story goes that many newspaper editors back in England, unwilling to believe the news they had just been delivered, and fearing a typographical error, took the decision not to cover the match in their early editions. One English publication even went so far as to announce a 10-1 victory for the overwhelming pre-match favourites.
Tickets are hard to come by for the much-anticipated game between England and USA at Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg. In fact, with a capacity of 38,646, it represents the smallest of the tournament's ten different venues, dwarfed by the 84,490 seats available at Johannesburg's Soccer City Stadium.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

England-USA preview

The opening game in Group C brings together two countries, England and USA, with a history of close relations and comradeship off the field but very little in the way of history on it. Except for one startling exception: the 1950 FIFA World Cup clash in Belo Horizonte which the Americans, seen as a 'ragtag' outfit back home, took a battering ram to convention and upset their fancied opponents 1-0. With Slovenia and Algeria also in the group at South Africa 2010, the Rustenburg game could be pivotal in the fight for qualifying places.

The match
 England-USA, Group C, Rustenburg (Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace), Saturday 12 June, 20.30 (local time)
Under their new coach Fabio Capello, England put together a near-perfect qualifying campaign, winning nine of their ten games and scoring 34 goals - six more than Spain, the next best - to top Europe's goal chart with Wayne Rooney joint second in the individual scoring roster.
The US were also demonstrating efficiency, losing just twice in the final six-team Hexagonal phase of North, Central America and Caribbean Zone, finishing a point ahead of second-placed Mexico. A year ago their stock, and that of coach Bob Bradley, rose considerably with their performances at FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 where USA ousted favourites Spain in the semi-finals before going down to a narrow 3-2 final defeat to Brazil.
England haven't impressed in the run-up to South Africa, beating Mexico none-too-convincingly and then only overcoming Japan via two own-goals. Capello, who lost skipper Rio Ferdinand for the entire tournament after sustaining a knee injury in their first training session in Rustenburg, was also unhappy with the first-half performance in a practice match against the Platinum Stars. He is likely to install Ledley King, who has his own fitness worries, alongside John Terry in the heart of the defence while Joe Cole and Shaun Wright-Phillips might earn surprise starting roles to augment Wayne Rooney's attacking thrust. 
The Americans have scored victories over Australia and Turkey but went down 4-2 to Turkey. They are likely to stick with the tried and trusted formula that saw them reach the final of the FIFA Confederations Cup with midfielder Michael Bradley, son of the coach, warning their opponents to expect a physical approach.

Players to watch 
Jozy Altidore vs John Terry
Altidore has made giant strides with the national team, impressing in qualifying and becoming the youngest ever hat-trick hero in US history. He will prove a powerful opponent for Terry, England's former skipper, who's star has fallen during a difficult second half to last season. With his regular England partner, Ferdinand, absent, it will be down to Terry to keep the US heavy-hitters at bay. 
The stat3 -
Half of USA's six wins in 25 FIFA World Cup encounters were achieved against European opposition. As well as that famous 1950 victory over England they also beat Belgium 3-0 in 1930 and Portugal 3-2 in 2002.

What they said
"The big difference is that we've got a fit Wayne Rooney in this squad. And the squad is quite experienced. Obviously we're missing Rio but this squad is balanced. I think this is a lot of guys' last chance, considering their age at this World Cup," Joe Cole, England midfielder.
"If we give up too many wide free-kicks and direct free-kicks, we will probably get punished for it. It's important we're solid in defence and not leave guys open one-on-one," Tim Howard, USA goalkeeper.
Voice of the fans "Let's not forget the underdog in the World Cup 2002: USA 3-2 Portugal. Portugal were the semi-finalists in the Euro 2000. This match against the English squad could be a very good match or a blow out," user dmuma55.
The question England often carry a 'fancied' tag into a FIFA World Cup only to depart disappointingly on a penalty shoot-out. Will 2010 be the year when they finally make amends?

Friday, June 11, 2010


After all the has come I've been updating you on the tips and advices on travel to SA for FIFA World Cup 2010 tournament i hope you are now enjoying your trip since you arrival at SA. After years of preparations, discussion and waiting, the 2010 FIFA World Cup is finally here and for hundreds of eager ticket holders, the opportunity to be first through the gate at Soccer City this morning was a magical moment. and now

The waiting is over

The prize of first through the gate was eventually won by Hope Zindi, who was followed closely by her family.
“We are all so excited. We woke up at 5am just to make sure we would get here in time but we only left at 7 because we were singing and dancing at home. We were all so lucky as I got these tickets for my family at the last minute,” said Zindi who, along with her family, is certainly feeling the World Cup spirit. “The World Cup is inside us. We are eating, sleeping and feeling it”.
And while Zindi managed to claim first prize, there were many more right behind her.
“I am so happy – look around, South Africa is united,” said Fikile Zulu.

“I was involved in the construction of the stadium but it is so fantastic to be able to walk through the gates as one of the first fans. I really have no words. What is happening in South Africa today is unbelievable,” said William Mnguni who worked for one of the construction companies that built Soccer City stadium.
Some of the eager fans were surprised at how many people came to the stadium so early in the morning. “I got my ticket last year already. It is really amazing. I thought I would be here early but there are already so many people coming into the stadium. This is going to be a hell of a day, I can’t wait,” said Martin Oosthuizen.
It was not just South Africans that were eagerly waiting for the 10am opening, there were a number of Mexican fans keen to get to their seat well in time for the opening ceremony and match.
“We all flew in last Monday and it is excellent to be one of the first through the gate. This World Cup in South Africa will be brilliant. The atmosphere here is unbelievable,” said David Vargas.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Everybody loves football, in fact football is one the games that bring people of different background together regardless of their race, colour, ethnic, and ability. football knows no boundary when it comes to it fans. so as this year's FIFA world cup is hosted by S.A. it's my pleasure presents you with today's topic:

Fans & Tourists with disabilities

Does South Africa cater for tourists with disabilities? South Africa is definitely a bit of a curate's egg in this respect – good in parts.
Government has introduced legislation on this, so progress is being made. And many game reserves and places of interest have specially adapted accommodation and wheelchair-friendly facilities and walks. Many short trails also have Braille interpretation plaques.
  • Eco-access has an enormous database of accessible destinations.
  • Flamingo Tours specializes in tours for people with disabilities.
You would be amazed what some wheelchair-dependent people have done in South Africa – abseiled off Table Mountain; dared the highest bungy jump in the world at Bloukrans Bridge; tubed the awesome Storms River Gorge; hiked most of the Outeniqua Trail (this was a hard one); flown a microlight; and learned to scuba dive.
The sky's the limit. Oh yes, and skydived. (This was not all done by the same person!)

Sunday, June 6, 2010


hello there,  it's less than a week to the start of the world's biggest  game, and it's my pleasure to keep informing you the tips about SA, so that you can have a best vacation. our last blog is about health because we all know how important our health is, and I hope you keep that in mind and feel free to ask me every question about your travel or post a comment about any suggestion you may add to this. it's very important if i had a feed back from you, because that will let me understand your concern and what you need to get a best vacation. and today we turn straight to

Phoning to and from South Africa

South Africa has a well-developed communications infrastructure, with extensive landline phone networks and four mobile phone service providers - Cell C, MTN, Vodacom and Virgin Mobile - with far-reaching coverage.
Landline services are operated by Telkom SA Ltd, with a second operator, Neotel, currently in the process of setting up shop. Telkom public telephones use coins, phonecards or Worldcall. Phonecards and Worldcall can be purchased at most retail stores, petrol stations, post offices and airports.
You can rent mobile phones - we call them cellphones - from the airport on arrival. You should find an internet café in even the smallest towns, and the postal service works, offering the usual letter and parcel services as well as securemail, freight and courier services.


If you're dialling a number in South Africa, it must be preceded by:
  • +27, South Africa's international country code (the + sign represents the international access code for the country you're calling from); and either:
    • The area code of the city or town in South Africa you're calling (leaving out the first zero), if you're calling a landline; or
    • The cellular/mobile network code (leaving out the first zero), if you're calling a cellular/mobile network.
So, for example, to phone South African Airways' call centre from abroad, you'd dial +27 11 978 5313 (Johannesburg's area code is 011 - phoning from abroad, you leave out the zero).
What's the time in South Africa?
Go to Google and search "time south africa".
If it were a mobile number, you might start dialling +27 82 ... (082 is the code for one of our main mobile networks - phoning from abroad, you leave out the zero).
Dialling codes in South Africa
The area codes of some of South Africa's major cities are: Bloemfontein 051, Cape Town 021, Durban 031, East London 043, Johannesburg 011, Pretoria 012, and Port Elizabeth 041. For the rest, consult Telkom's Dialling codes in South Africa.


To make an international call from South Africa, dial 00, followed by the country code of the country you wish to call, followed by the relevant area code (if there is one), followed by the phone number.
What's my country's dialling code?
One of the quickest ways to find out is to dial Telkom's 24-hour international customer care centre - 10903 - and ask. The service is free. Alternatively, go to Google and type in "dialling code [your country]".
Operator-assisted dialling
Telkom's international call centre - 10903 - offers 24-hour assistance to anyone wanting to make international calls or send faxes, along with general international directory information.
What's the time back home?
Go to Google and search "time [name of your home country]".
Home Direct
Telkom's Home Direct service allows you to call an operator in your home country free of charge, either to place a call on your "phone home" account, if you have one, or to arrange a reverse-charge call. Telkom's Phone Book lists all available country-specific Home Direct numbers in its international dialling code list. Alternatively, phone Telkom's international customer care centre at 10903.
Public phones for tourists
Telkom has placed public telephones at major tourist sites across South Africa. Coin-operated phones are blue, while cardphones are green, and both are user-friendly and compatible with hearing aid devices. They offer a reliable connection, high quality of speech, and are affordable.
Phonecards and Worldcall
Telkom's Phonecards and Worldcall are available at major outlets where the Telkom logo is displayed.


If you're in South Africa and phoning a landline - whether you're phoning from a landline or a mobile phone - the number must be preceded by the area code (including the first zero) for the city or town you're phoning.
If, on the other hand, you're phoning to a mobile number, you never use an area code, only the appropriate mobile network code.


Many businesses and organisations have special landline numbers beginning with an 08 code - 0800, 0860, 0861, and so on. (But not 082, 083 or 084, which belong to the mobile networks.) These are, in effect, national numbers - area codes are dispensed with, and callers dial the same number regardless of where they are. Note that these lines can only be accessed from within South Africa.
  • 080 numbers (usually 0800) - no charge to the caller.
  • 0860 numbers - the caller does not pay for any long-distance portion of the call.
  • 0861 numbers - the caller is charged a flat rate for the call.


For landline numbers in South Africa, Consult Telkom's phone directories. The print versions are published and millions of copies distributed free of charge every year - you'll find them in airports, hotels, offices, homes and public phone booths just about everywhere. The online versions are at:
Alternatively, dial Telkom's telephonic directories:
  • International - 10903
  • Directory Services (Phone Book) - 1023
  • Talking Yellow Pages - 10118
  • Mobile Yellow Pages - SMS what you're looking for and where (eg "flowers cape town") to 34310.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


the last time we talked about staying out of trouble because it's very important if you have the safest and the most enjoyable vacation ever and as you know staying out of troubles is not the only way of getting best vacation. staying healthy is also important so today's topic is about HEALTH.

Health tips for travellers ...

Nothing can spoil a holiday more than feeling off-colour, and nothing can dull the pleasure of your holiday memories more than getting ill far from home. There are a number of health issues that you should be aware of, particularly if you're from the northern hemisphere.
However, while there are risks anywhere, South Africa has a relatively salubrious climate and our levels of water treatment, hygiene and such make it a pretty safe destination.


If you're an adult, you won't need any inoculations unless you're travelling from a yellow-fever endemic area (the yellow fever belt of Africa or South America), in which case you will need certification to prove your inoculation status when you arrive in South Africa.
It is recommended that you have the required inoculations four to six weeks before you travel to South Africa (a yellow fever inoculation certificate only becomes valid 10 days after inoculation - after which it remains valid for 10 years).
Hepatitis B inoculations are recommended for children up to the age of 12 who have not completed the series of injections as infants. Booster doses for tetanus and measles can also be administered.

Medical facilities

Medical facilities in cities and larger towns are world-class, but you will find that in rural areas the clinics and hospitals deal with primary health needs, and therefore do not offer the range of medical care that the large metropolitan hospitals do. Trained medical caregivers are deployed round the country, so help is never far away.

The sun

We have a warm sunny climate and sunscreen and a hat are recommended whenever you are out of doors during the day, particularly between 10:00 and 16:00, regardless of whether there is cloud cover or not.
Even if you have a dark complexion, you can still get sunburned if you are from a cooler climate and have not had much exposure to the sun. Sunglasses are also recommended wear, as the glare of the African sun can be strong.

Can I drink the water?

High-quality tap (faucet) water is available almost everywhere in South Africa, treated so as to be free of harmful micro-organisms, and in any area other than informal or shack settlements, is both palatable and safe to drink straight from the tap.
In some areas, the water is mineral-rich, and you may experience a bit of gastric distress for a day or two until you get used to it. Bottled mineral water, both sparkling and still, is readily available in most places.
Drinking water straight from rivers and streams could put you at risk of waterborne diseases - especially downstream of human settlements. The water in mountain streams, however, is usually pure and wonderful.
In the Cape, particularly, the water contains humic acid, which stains it the colour of diluted Coca-Cola - this is absolutely harmless, and the water is wonderful. You may also find this colouring in tap water in some areas. It's fine - it just looks a bit weird in the bath.

Do I need to take malaria tablets?

Many of the main tourist areas are malaria-free, so you need not worry at all. However, the Kruger National Park, the Lowveld of Mpumalanga and Limpopo, and the northern part of KwaZulu-Natal do pose a malaria risk in the summer months.
Many local people and some travellers do not take malaria prophylaxis, but most health professionals recommend you do. Consult your doctor or a specialist travel clinic for the latest advice concerning malaria prophylaxis, as it changes regularly.
Whether you take oral prophylaxis or not, always use mosquito repellent, wear long pants, closed shoes and light long-sleeved shirts at night, and sleep under a mosquito net in endemic areas (the anopheles mosquito, which carries malaria, operates almost exclusively after dark). It is advisable to avoid malarial areas if you are pregnant.


As in other countries, always take precautions when having sex. South Africa has one of the highest rates of HIV in the world.

Other health issues

Bilharzia can be a problem in some of the east-flowing rivers, but it is easily detected and treated if it is caught early. Perhaps it would be a good idea to have a routine test a month or two after you get home - just to reassure yourself.
Ticks generally come out in the early spring and may carry tickbite fever, which is easily treated. You should also be aware of hepatitis, for which you can be inoculated.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


as I am still feeding you more tips to have a successful vacation ever, the last post was about banking and finance in SA, but as the Crime statistics are astronomical, with the added leavening of a widespread taste for gratuitous violence that sees many otherwise reasonably benign crimes lapse into extreme and unnecessary bloodshed and loss of life. it is my pleasure to give some details for staying out of trouble. and that landed as direct to today's Topic:

Tips for staying out of trouble...

Crime, like anywhere else in the world, can be a problem, but you really need not do much more than take all the usual sensible precautions. Know where you're going before you set off, particularly at night, watch your possessions, don't walk alone in dodgy areas, lock your doors at night. Much like anywhere else.
And, like anywhere else in the world, there are some areas of major cities which are more dodgy than others. It is easy to avoid these and still have a good time.
When walking through areas that are considered risky, avoid wearing visible jewellery or carrying cameras and bags over your shoulder. Keep cellphones (mobile phones) and wallets tucked away where no one can see them. Check beforehand that the areas you plan to visit are safe by asking hotel staff or police. It is not advisable to use local commuter and metro trains as attacks on foreigners have occurred.
Other sensible advice is not to hitchhike or accept or carry items for strangers. Our airport security is quite strict so, to avoid delays in checking in, remove all sharp objects (even nail files and hairclips) from your hand luggage.


Those who choose to drive private cars, either borrowed or hired, should be aware that car hijackings do occur, although precautions can be taken to avoid this.
Drivers should always be on the alert when they come to a halt at traffic lights or stop streets, as well as when they are arriving at or leaving premises. Doors should be locked at all times, and while the temptation is to keep windows open in sunny weather, they should be kept closed. Plan your travel route beforehand. Make sure that you do not leave valuables in clear view of people on the side of the road.
Articles such as cellular phones and handbags left on seats are favoured targets of smash'n'grab thieves.
When parking at night choose well-lit or security-patrolled parking areas. Street security guards will usually ask whether they can watch over your car and in return should be paid a small fee – anything from two rand upwards.

ATMs and con artists

Watch out for con artists. A favoured target is the automated teller machine (ATM).
Under no circumstances allow a stranger to assist you in your transactions. Should your card become stuck in the ATM, enter your PIN three times whereupon the machine will retain your card. You can then approach the bank to release it, or call the helpline number that can usually be found at ATMs for assistance.
Beware, too, of confidence tricksters who try and persuade you to invest in their schemes, requiring you to disclose confidential banking details.

Stay out of jail!

And, while on the subject of crime, do bear in mind that committing a criminal offence in any foreign country is always more of a problem than doing so at home.
You're probably not planning to, but there are a few actions which could land you in one of our not-too-luxurious jails. These include smuggling, bilking, and trading in, or using, recreational drugs – with the exception of tobacco and alcohol.
Poaching is probably far from your mind but, just in case you're tempted to "harvest" a rhino horn as a souvenir, remember our game scouts are armed.

Lost passports

Should you lose your passport, report the loss as soon as possible to your country's embassy or consulate, and to the local police.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


as you know the FIFA world cup is still a few days from now and it's my pleasure to feed you you with some tips on your journey to SA. my last blog tells you things that you shouldn't leave home with out them, I hope you will keep that in mind because it's very important for your journey. and as we all know that money is everything especially when it comes to something like this, that takes us to our next tip:

Banks and foreign exchange in SA

With a favourable exchange rate for many international currencies, you'll find South Africa a very inexpensive destination. And an easy one – our financial institutions are world-class, with no shortage of banks, bureaux de change and automatic tellers.

Rands and cents

South Africa's unit of currency is the rand, which is divided into 100 cents. Coins come in denominations of 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, R1, R2 and R5, and notes in denominations of R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200.

How far will my money go?

A long, long way. With a favourable exchange rate for the major international currencies, you'll find South Africa a very inexpensive destination.
  • For the latest exchange rates, copy and paste this link to your address bar:

Banking made easy

You'll also find South Africa an easy destination. From the moment you step off the plane you'll start seeing banks, bureaux de change and automatic tellers all over.
The banks are generally open from 9am to 3.30pm Mondays through Fridays, and 8.30am to 11am on Saturdays, but those at the airports adjust their hours to accommodate international flights.
The major banks have branches as well as automated teller machines (ATMs) in most large towns – and all over the cities. International banks (see the "foreign exchange services" links below) have branches in the major cities. Thomas Cook (represented by Rennies Travel) and American Express foreign exchange offices are also available in the major cities.

Credit cards and cash

All major credit cards can be used in South Africa, with American Express and Diners Club enjoying less universal acceptance than MasterCard and Visa. In some small towns, you may find you'll need to use cash.
When it comes to paying for fuel, you may also have to pay cash. Our filling stations can now take credit card payments – regulations allowing them to do so came into effect in July 2009. However, many filling stations (or garages, as we call them) may take a while to adjust, or may choose not to. Look out for the "cash only" notices.
Many locals have special fuel credit cards, known as garage or petrol cards, for use only at filling stations. These will still be accepted.
Road tolls, on the major routes between cities, can be paid using MasterCard or Visa.


Credit cards and related services
South Africa's 'big four' banks
Foreign exchange services
These and other financial services are offered by SA's "big four" banks as well as the credit card firms listed above. Other foreign exchange dealers in South Africa include the following:

Friday, May 28, 2010


Yesterday I posted a blog about 10 things you need to know about South Africa. and today i wanted to set new blog about the tips you need to know before you travel to SA and while you're in SA. as we all know the FIFA World cup is approaching, so for the Soccer fans around the globe who are in prepairation to go and witness the greatest show on earth, here is the very important things you need to know and do before, and when you're in SA. so let start with prepairation.

Don't leave home without ...

There are two ways of organizing a holiday. The first is to decide on the spur of the moment to head off, and do just that. It's a valid option, but you will probably have to maintain that frame of mind or you might start getting irritated at the things you forgot to organize and pack.
The more usual way is to plan ahead a bit, thus ensuring that you won't have any unpleasant surprises. Check your passport isn't about to expire, check whether you'll need visas, organize traveler's cheques well in advance, organize travel insurance and medical insurance. Check your flight details and don't forget to confirm them – including onward connections and returns. Don't forget to order special meals on flights, or children's meals, if necessary.

What to pack

Pack a while ahead. Most of the time you'll be most comfortable in light, summer-weight clothes but do pack a warm jacket, socks, good shoes and a rain jacket. Pack sunscreen – lots of it – and a hat and sunglasses. Make sure you have at least one cool shirt with a collar for sun protection. Stock up on insect repellent and, if you'll be in a malaria area, ensure you have a cool, long-sleeved shirt and cool long pants for evenings. Bring good walking shoes.
Always pack a bandanna or cotton scarf and a sarong, kanga, pareo, kikoi – whatever you want to call it. These two garments are probably the most useful and versatile items in the world. If you're spending time watching game, you should try to wear reasonably neutral colours but, really, you don't have to look like an extra on the set of Out of Africa. You don't need formal clothes, but you will need something pretty smart for exclusive hotels and the Blue Train.


If you are dependent on any drugs – or medication, as we say – bring a supply and a spare prescription. (We call our drugstores "pharmacies".)

Important documents

Make two copies of all your important documents, like passports. Take one with you, in a different bag to the original, and leave one at home with a responsible, easily reachable person. Try to memorise all your important numbers - passport numbers, credit card numbers, etc. If you lose your bag, this could be an enormous help.

Can I use my hairdryer?

Electricity is generally 220/230 volts, 15 amps, and is supplied through either 15-amp three-prong or 5-amp two-prong plugs, in both cases with round pins. If you're bringing anything electrical, bring an adapter – or you could buy one here. Generally, the 110V video chargers work safely on the 220V supply. Television is on the PAL system.

Spectacles, contact lenses

Bring spare spectacles, and/or a copy of your prescription. If you wear contact lenses, consider using disposables for a short holiday, especially if you're planning to river raft, dive or such. Also bring spectacles, as the dry dusty environment of some game farms may irritate your eyes.
If you've forgotten anything – don't panic. This is not the back of beyond, and you can buy whatever you need – probably at a good price.
And pack a camera – you'll want to save your wonderful memories. You can buy film anywhere, and camera batteries in any city.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

10 Things You Need To Know About South Africa

Beat CrimeIf you are planning a trip to South Africa for the Fifa 2010 World Cup Tournament, or for any reason at all, here are a few tips to help you navigate through this vast and beautiful country.

1. Crime: Caution pays better dividends than denial…

There is no getting around the fact that South Africa is a dangerous country. Crime statistics are astronomical, with the added leavening of a widespread taste for gratuitous violence that sees many otherwise reasonably benign crimes lapse into extreme and unnecessary bloodshed and loss of life.
Why this is so has consumed endless debate among sociologists and civic leaders, but the fact remains that it is so, and for a visitor to this fair land caution pays a better dividend than denial, so here are a few pointers:
South Africa has a deceptively ‘Developed World’ appearance that lulls a visitor into believing he/she is in the developed world. In Africa such conspicuous wealth floats on a deep pool of corresponding poverty, so don’t be fooled, and take nothing at face value.
Take note of the razor wire and iron gates at your backpackers lodge or hotel, and recognize that such lavish security is not there for no reason at all.
If you travel with a group stick together, and follow the advice of your tour leader or hotel proprietor when navigating local conditions. Try not to travel independently if you can help it, and stay away from any city center after dark, and try and stay away from city centers the rest of the time too, they are rarely the most pleasant parts of town.
Don’t put yourself at unnecessary risk. Don’t pull up on the side of the road for a nap, drive or walk into any high density residential area, and try not to be out on the roads after dark
The best advice of all would be to book a trip if you intend to travel and do not leave it until the last minute and wing it on your own.
Your instincts of survival and self preservation should turned up to the maximum at all times in South Africa!

2. Culture: The Rainbow Nation is alive and well in South Africa…

SA CultureSouth Africa is the Rainbow Nation, and the cultural diversity you will encounter everywhere you go can only amaze you. South Africans also have a history of race division, however, and although they seem on the surface to enjoy a highly developed sense of inter-race humor, it pays as a rule to keep clear of any searching debates about race and race politics.
The upside of the South African race diversity is the cultural wonderland that invites a curious visitor into many culinary and sensory adventures. Consider the many diverse restaurant, cafes and bars for example, and just one regional example is Cape Dutch cuisine, that aromatic synthesis of East Indian and colonial mixes seems to have emerged strongly in South Africa, and particularly in hotspots the Cape and Durban.
Cape Dutch food and wine is widely available all over the region, and melds together the influences of early Dutch settlers with a plethora of Indian and Malay. Then there is Indian itself, with such local variants an the Durban Masala, a fiery version of the original that is a must for curry buffs. Look out for samoosas, known in local parlance as dri-hookie-coolie-cookie. Dutch/Afrikaans borrows liberally from this culture, as it does from all sub-cultures in South Africa. Afrikaans cuisine is focused often on the ubiquitous braai, a local barbecue tradition, and on one-pot fire-cooked meals called potjies, and then of course the cinnamon and cumin laced delicacies of the Cape-Colored community.
Music and dance is also very much a feature of South African culture. Here again a range of social influences have fused to throw up a variety of different sights and sounds, characterized…well…by variety. If World Music of a pan-African texture is what you will be looking for, you will find it in many forms, but also you will find a developed and highly sophisticated jazz culture, variants of hip-hop, lashings of mainstream homegrown rock and punk, and the deeply traditional and sentimental Boer Musiek that caters to the fading white middle classes.
A range of music and arts festivals are held annually throughout South Africa, and an unfortunate visitor indeed will be he or she who finds nothing to suit their tastes.
South Africa is very well covered by guide books, local history and one or two Nobel literary laureates that collectively offer an almost unlimited choice of reading material to introduce you to South Africa.

3. South Africa has more to see than any other African country…

Most of the main travel destinations in Africa sport a handful of attractions, usually defined by idyllic tropical beaches and wildlife parks, and of course South Africa has these in abundance, but it has so much more besides. From east to west, from north to south, the possibilities are endless.
The Cape is famous for temperate landscapes, traditional Europeanesuqe architecture and wine and cuisine, but look out for the vibrant nightlife and plethora of cultural venues in Cape Town, Shark Diving in Gansbaai and whale watching in Hermanus. The heartland of open road touring in South Africa is the Western Cape region that encompasses the Karoo, Namaqualand and the Kalahari fringe of Richtersveld and the Kgalghadi TransFrontier National Park.
Kwa/Zulu Natal is the sultry east coast of South Africa, lapped by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, and studded with wonderful beachside towns and villages, headed up by the metropolis of Durban, that original cultural melting pot in an already culturally diverse nation.
KNZ is the homeland of the Zulu Nation, and traditional cultural expression tends to reflect this, but it is also the home of the largest East Indian population outside of India, and so seethes with color, fragrance and flavor. It is the most populous province in South Africa, and is highly developed along its coastline, although further north thing are a bit wilder with the St Lucia Wetland complex and smaller but iconic parks such as Hluhlue and Umfolozi.
It is an intensely green and tropical region of South Africa, but it also enjoys The Midlands which is the soft heart of the nation, and composed mostly of green, rolling hill country that culminates in the rugged escarpment of the Drakensberg Mountains.
The North and Northeast of South Africa is big game country, and the province of Mpumulanga boasts the greatest wildlife park of the all: Kruger National Park, the flagship of South African conservation, and without doubt one of the best eco-travel destinations in Africa.
Besides this the northern end of the Drakensberg Escarpment is a uniquely beautiful region of highlands, canyons, caves and forests, offering historic glimpses of the old mining heritage of South Africa.
The cities of South Africa each enjoy a distinct individuality, with Cape Town leading the pack, but Johannesburg following close behind, and the runners up of Durban, Port ElizabethBloemfontein each offering unique cultural insights and vibrant urban grooves. and

4. Get around easily in a highly traveler friendly environment

Baz BusSouth Africa, it often seems, does not belong in Africa at all. It enjoys a transport and communication infrastructure that by world standards is impressive, but by African standards is miraculous. Expect therefore to experience no problems getting around.
Each of the provinces has an international class airport with all the facilities that might be expected from a first class facility. Thanks to the prevalence of crime in South Africa these airports are very stringently regulated, and most hotels and lodges offer a complimentary airport pickup, which takes much of the guesswork out of coming and going.
Besides this there is an excellent domestic and regional flight network that covers not only the main airports but many of the smaller ones, and again your hospitality proprietor or tour operator will usually collect and drop you off.
Inter-city travel by coach and scheduled bus service is always easy to arrange, and the selection of services, as well as destinations, is, as would be expected, very good.
For budget travelers a dedicated bus services is in operation that completes a series of circuits around South Africa, taking in almost all the main backpackers lodges, on a jump-on-jump-off basis. These is the Baz Bus.

5. Everything under the sun for the comfort traveler

Lodge AccommodationHere again expect astonishing variety and high standards of service and facilities.
Brand name hotels proliferate in South Africa, and most, if not all, enjoy a solid web presence so information and bookings are easy to arrange.
Likewise South Africa has a widespread and growing network of backpackers lodges that are also well represented on the web and also offer all the sensible services necessary to keep you safe in a high crime neighborhood.
Also a common feature in South Africa are a litany of game and theme lodges set in and around the main national parks and beauty spots, probably most notably game lodges, but all kinds of these high end facilities exist. They are rarely cheap, but standards are universally high and usually the service is integrated with some sort of safari/excision option that explores the surrounding area.
Lastly a vast network of B&Bs and Guesthouses are to be found all over South Africa, and rarely does a town of village not have at least one. These tend to be less well represented on the web, and often they serve road touring parties and work along the lines of drop-in bookings.
All in all South Africa is well set up to handle large numbers of travelers from budget to elite with everything in between.

6. World class standards of health care…

Groote Schuur HospitalA growing feature of the South African hospitality industry in the Health & Wellness phenomenon, and in most of the upscale wilderness lodges - and there are few of these that are not upscale - an emphasis is placed on spa and wellness facilities that try as much as possible to lean on local tradition herbalism and practice.
In the Cape the industry has a much more cosmopolitan flavor, while throughout the country there are themed resorts that tap into geo-thermal springs offering a variety of curative properties.
South Africa is also one of the global medical tourism destinations, Safari & Surgery being the local variant, and bearing in mind that the first successful heart transplant was conducted in South Africa, facilities and expertise across the board are very high.
It is not unknown, however, for hospitals to refuse care, even emergency care, to the uninsured, so while you will probably have better care than you can expect at home, it is not free, and health insurance is vital.
Emergency response on South Africa’s roads and countryside is exceptional, but again make sure you have insurance.

7. Step into a fully fledged consumer nation…

sandtonSeasoned African travelers who are accustomed to a complete lack of consumer culture on the ground are usually amazed when crossing the Limpopo into South Africa to be confronted immediately by an American style Mall culture that in many respects exceeds the lavish supply of the original.
The Sandton Center in Johannesburg, for example, is regarded as one of the world premier shopping destinations. It is only just slightly more lavish than many other luxury malls scattered around the country, and thousands of other smaller shopping centers countrywide that offer everything you are ever likely to need, and usually much more.
So don’t worry if you forget something, and more importantly if you are planning a trip north into the African heartland any last minute requirements as well as any pharmaceuticals you will need along the way are all easily available in South Africa.

8. Use your plastic anywhere in South Africa..

This is again something that you need not worry about too much in South Africa. The local currency is the Rand, it is internationally traded and there is no local currency black market as there is in many other African countries. Most banks will change money, and credit cards are widely accepted almost everywhere that you will need to use one. Local ATMs proliferate, and are usually very reliable.

9. Get the word out with the best communications infrastructure in Africa

The web is alive and well in South Africa, wi-fi is everywhere and every hospitality facility, even the most humble, is connected. VodacomIt is very easy to get connected up with a cell phone, and pay-as-you-go set up is a simple matter of walking into your local or airport Vodacom or MTN store.

10. Find out what you need to know in the most out-of-the-way places…

Once again the web is replete with South African tourist information, but most hospitality establishments will offer a complimentary copy of Coast to Coast, a jazzy, up to the minute publication that covers just about everything you need to know about South Africa.
Besides this all the main, and even most of the peripheral, tourist destinations have a tourist Information office, with the main ones being in the main cities.
Backpackers Lodges operate on a network, and the information exchange that exists in these establishments is second to none. Everything that is hot and current, bad or disreputable, or even downright dangerous, will be known about very quickly on the backpack circuit, so it is there that you should look for up to the minute info if you are an independent traveler.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


José Mourinhoé_Mourinho
Manager Jose Mourinho of Inter Milan, April 18, 2009.jpg
Personal information
Full name José Mário dos Santos Félix Mourinho
Date of birth 26 January 1963 (1963-01-26) (age 47)
Place of birth Setúbal, Portugal
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10+12 in)[1]
Club information
Current club F.C. Internazionale Milano
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1980–1982 Rio Ave

1982–1983 Belenenses

1983–1985 GD Sesimbra

1985–1987 Comércio e Indústria

Teams managed
1990–1991 Estrela Amadora (assistant)
1993–1994 Porto (assistant)
1996–2000 Barcelona (assistant)
2000 Benfica
2001–2002 União de Leiria
2002–2004 Porto
2004–2007 Chelsea
2008– Internazionale
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
José Mário dos Santos Félix Mourinho, GOIH (Portuguese pronunciation: [ʒuˈzɛ moˈɾiɲu]; born 26 January 1963 in Setúbal, Portugal), is a Portuguese football manager. He is the current manager of Italian Serie A team Internazionale, to whom he is contracted for three seasons. He has the nickname "The Special One", a self-proclaimed title which was later taken up by the British media.[2]
The son of Portuguese goalkeeper José Félix Mourinho, Mourinho started out as a player but he was dissatisfied with his lack of skill and switched to management. After spells working as an assistant manager and a youth team coach in the early 1990s, he became an interpreter for Sir Bobby Robson. There, Mourinho learnt much from the veteran coach and worked with him at Sporting Lisbon, Porto in Portugal, before following him to Spanish club Barcelona.
He began focusing on coaching and impressed with brief but successful managerial periods at Benfica and União de Leiria. He returned to Porto in 2002, this time as head coach, and soon became a force to be reckoned with, winning the Portuguese Liga, Cup of Portugal and UEFA Cup in 2003. Greater success followed in 2004 as Mourinho guided the team to the top of the league for a second time and won the highest honour in European club football, the UEFA Champions League.
Mourinho moved to Chelsea the following year and won two consecutive Premier League titles in 2005 and 2006, among other domestic honours. He often courted controversy for his outspokenness, but his victories at Chelsea and Porto established him as one of the world's top football managers, well regarded by both his peers and the press. Additionally, he was named the world's best football manager by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) for both the 2004–05 and 2005–06 seasons.
After a fall-out with the Chelsea hierarchy, he moved to Italy's Serie A, signing a three-year contract with Internazionale in mid-2008. Within three months, he had won his first Italian honour, the Supercoppa Italiana, and completed his first season in Italy by winning the Serie A league title. He then followed that up the following year by winning the first "treble" in Italian history, the Serie A league title, Coppa Italia and the UEFA Champions League, thus becoming the third manager in football history to win two UEFA Champions League with two different teams, after Ernst Happel and Ottmar Hitzfeld.



Early life and career

Formative years and education

José Mário dos Santos Félix Mourinho was born in 1963 to a large middle-class family in Setúbal, Portugal, the son of Félix Mourinho and Maria Júlia Mourinho. His father played football professionally for Belenenses and Vitória de Setúbal, earning one cap for Portugal in the course of his career. His mother was a primary school teacher from an affluent background;[3] her uncle funded the construction of the Vitória de Setúbal football stadium. However, the fall of António de Oliveira Salazar's Estado Novo regime in April 1974 led to the family losing all but a property in nearby Palmela.[4]
Mourinho was a popular and competitive child and his mother encouraged him to be successful in his endeavors.[4] Football was a major part of his life and his father recalled being very impressed with his knowledge of the game. Footballing commitments in Porto and Lisbon meant that Félix was often separated from his son. Still, the young Mourinho managed to spend time with him and as a teenager he would travel by any means necessary to attend weekend matches. By this time, his father had changed from player to coach and in turn the José Mourinho became a student of the game, observing training sessions and scouting opposing teams.[5]
Mourinho wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father by becoming a footballer and he joined the Belenenses youth team. Graduating to the senior level, he played at Rio Ave (where his father was coach), Belenenses and Sesimbra, but it became evident that he would not excel as a professional due to a lack of the requisite pace and power.[6][7] Acceding to his shortcomings, he chose to pursue the dream of becoming a professional football coach instead.[3] His mother had different ideas altogether and enrolled him in a business school. Mourinho attended the school but dropped out on his first day, deciding he would rather focus on sport, and chose to attend the Instituto Superior de Educação Física (ISEF), Technical University of Lisbon, to study sports science.[4] He taught physical education at various schools and after five years, he had earned his diploma, receiving consistently good marks throughout the course.[5] After attending coaching courses held by the English and Scottish Football Associations, former Scotland manager Andy Roxburgh took note of the young Portuguese's drive and attention to detail.[8] Mourinho sought to redefine the role of coach in football by mixing coaching theory with motivational and psychological techniques.[3]

Entering management

After leaving his job as a school coach, Mourinho looked for paths into professional management in his hometown and became youth team coach at Vitória de Setúbal in the early 1990s. Working his way up the ladder, he accepted the position of assistant manager at Estrela da Amadora.[8] Mourinho yearned for greater challenges and in 1992 an opportunity arose to work as a translator for a top foreign coach. Bobby Robson had been appointed as the new manager of Lisbon side Sporting Clube de Portugal and the Englishman required a local coach with a good command of English to work as his interpreter.[6]
Initially, the move was a step away from management but as an interpreter Mourinho earned Robson's respect and friendship. He welcomed Mourinho's translations and the two became close through discussing tactics and coaching.[6] Robson was sacked by Sporting but Portuguese rivals FC Porto appointed him as their head coach and Mourinho continued to coach and interpret for players at the new post.[8] After two years at Porto the duo moved again, switching to FC Barcelona in 1996, and Mourinho continued to show his linguistic dexterity and drive, learning Catalan for the new challenge.[9] Mourinho and his family moved to Barcelona and he gradually became a prominent figure of Barcelona's staff by translating at press conferences, planning practice sessions and helping players through tactical advice and analyses of the opposition. Robson and Mourinho's styles complemented each other: the Englishman favoured an attacking style, while Mourinho covered defensive options, and the Portuguese's love of planning and training combined with Robson's direct man-management. The partnership was fruitful and Barcelona finished the season with the European Cup Winners' Cup. Robson moved club the following season but this time Mourinho did not follow as Barcelona were keen to retain him as assistant manager.[8] Despite the move, the two remained good friends and Mourinho later reflected on the effect Robson had had upon him:
One of the most important things I learnt from Bobby Robson is that when you win, you shouldn’t assume you are the team, and when you lose, you shouldn’t think you are rubbish.[8]
He began working with Robson's successor, Louis van Gaal, and he learnt much from the Dutchman's conscientious style. Both assistant and head coach combined their studious approach to the game and Barcelona won La Liga twice in van Gaal's first two years as coach.[8] Van Gaal saw that his number two had the promise to be more than a skilled assistant. He let Mourinho develop his own independent coaching style and entrusted him with the coaching duties of FC Barcelona B.[9] Van Gaal also let Mourinho take charge of the first team (acting as Mourinho's assistant himself) for certain trophies, like the Copa Catalunya.[8]

Coaching career

Benfica and Leiria

The chance to become a top-tier manager arrived in September 2000 when Mourinho moved up from his role as assistant coach at Lisbon side Benfica to replace head coach Jupp Heynckes after the fourth week of the Portuguese Liga.[9] The Benfica hierarchy wanted to appoint Jesualdo Ferreira as the new assistant coach but Mourinho refused and picked Carlos Mozer, a retired Benfica defender, as his right-hand man instead.[10] Mourinho was highly critical of Ferreira, whom he had first encountered as his teacher at ISEF, and later lambasted the veteran coach by stating: "This could be the story of a donkey who worked for 30 years but never became a horse."[11] Only weeks after being given the job at Benfica, Mourinho's mentor, Bobby Robson, offered him the assistant manager's role at Newcastle United. Such was Robson's desperation for Mourinho to join him he offered to step down after two years in charge and hand over the reins to Mourinho. Mourinho turned the offer down and said he knew Robson would never step down at the club he loved.[12]
Mourinho and Mozer proved a popular combination, enjoying a 3–0 win against fierce rivals Sporting in December.[13][14] However, their reign appeared to be at risk after Benfica's election turned against club president João Vale e Azevedo, and the newly-elected Manuel Vilarinho said that he would instate ex-Benfica player Toni as his new coach.[9] Although Vilarinho had no intention of firing him immediately, Mourinho used the victory over Sporting to test the president's loyalty and he asked for a contract extension.[13] Vilarinho refused the demand and Mourinho resigned from his position immediately. He left the club on 5 December 2000 after just nine league games in charge.[15] Upon later reflection, Vilarinho rued his poor judgement and expressed his frustration at losing Mourinho:
[Put me] back then [and] I would do exactly the opposite: I would extend his contract. Only later I realised that one's personality and pride cannot be put before the interest of the institution we serve.[13]
Mourinho quickly found a new managerial post in January 2001 with União de Leiria, whom he took to their highest-ever league finish of fifth place.[16] Mourinho's successes at Leiria did not go unrecognised and he caught the attention of larger Portuguese clubs.[9]


He was then hand-picked in January 2002 by FC Porto to replace Octávio Machado. Mourinho guided the team to third place that year after a strong 15-game run (W–D–L: 11–2–2) and gave the promise of "making Porto champions next year."
He quickly identified several key players whom he saw as the backbone of what he believed would be a perfect Porto team — Vítor Baía, Ricardo Carvalho, Costinha, Deco, Dmitri Alenichev, and Hélder Postiga. He recalled captain Jorge Costa after a six-month loan to Charlton Athletic. The signings from other clubs included Nuno Valente and Derlei from União de Leiria, Paulo Ferreira from Vitória de Setúbal, Pedro Emanuel from Boavista, and Edgaras Jankauskas, and Maniche, who both had been out of contract at Benfica.
During the pre-season, Mourinho put on the club website detailed reports on the team training. The reports were filled with formal vocabulary, as, for instance, he referred to a 20 km jog as an extended aerobic exercise. While they attracted some scorn for the pretentiousness, others praised the innovation and the application of a more scientific approach to the training methods practised in Portugal. One of the key aspects in Mourinho-era Porto was his quick wit and the pressuring play, which started at the offensive line, dubbed pressão alta ("high pressure"). The physical and combative abilities of the teams' defenders and midfielders allowed Porto to apply pressure from the offensive lines and forced opponents either to concede the ball or try longer, uncertain passes.
In 2003, Mourinho won his first Portuguese Liga with a 27–5–2 record, 11 points clear of Benfica, the team he quit two years earlier. The total of 86 points out of the possible maximum of 102 was a Portuguese record since the rule of three points per win was introduced. Mourinho also won the Portuguese Cup (against former club Leiria) and the UEFA Cup final against Celtic, both in May 2003.
The following season witnessed further successes: he led Porto to victory in the one-match Portuguese SuperCup, beating Leiria 1–0. However they lost the UEFA Super Cup 1–0 to Milan, Andriy Shevchenko scoring the solitary goal. The team were dominant in the Portuguese Liga and they finished the season with a perfect home record, an eight-point advantage, and an unbeaten run that only ended against Gil Vicente; they secured the title five weeks before the end of the season. Porto lost the Portuguese Cup final to Benfica in May 2004, but two weeks later Mourinho won a greater prize: the UEFA Champions League, with a 3–0 win over AS Monaco in Germany. The club had eliminated Manchester United, Olympique Lyonnais and Deportivo La Coruña and their sole defeat of the competition came against Real Madrid in the group round.
Mourinho's win over Manchester United foreshadowed a move to the English league, where he and manager Alex Ferguson would compete in the Premier League. Porto were on the verge of an away goals defeat when Costinha scored an injury time goal to win the tie and Mourinho celebrated the goal flamboyantly. As a response to his European and domestic success, Mourinho was linked with several top European clubs, including Liverpool, Real Madrid and Chelsea. Mourinho publicly stated his preference for the Liverpool job over the Chelsea one:
Liverpool are a team that interests everyone and Chelsea does not interest me so much because it is a new project with lots of money invested in it. I think it is a project which, if the club fail to win everything, then [Roman] Abramovich could retire and take the money out of the club. It's an uncertain project. It is interesting for a coach to have the money to hire quality players but you never know if a project like this will bring success.[17]
Liverpool offered their managerial position to Spanish coach Rafael Benítez and Mourinho instead accepted a large offer from Roman Abramovich and pledged his immediate future to Chelsea.[17]


Mourinho at Chelsea
Mourinho moved to Chelsea in June 2004, becoming one of the highest paid managers in football with a salary of £4.2 million a year, subsequently raised in 2005 to £5.2 million.[18] In a press conference upon joining the English side, Mourinho said, "Please don't call me arrogant, but I'm European champion and I think I'm a special one," which resulted in the media dubbing him "The Special One".[19]
Mourinho recruited his backroom staff from Porto, consisting of assistant manager Baltemar Brito, fitness coach Rui Faria, chief scout André Villas Boas and goalkeeping coach Silvino Louro. He retained the services of Steve Clarke, a long-serving former player at Chelsea, who had also performed an assistant managerial-type role under previous managers at the club. In terms of spending, Mourinho carried on where his predecessor Claudio Ranieri left off, as, bankrolled by Roman Abramovich, he spent in excess of £70 m in transfer fees on players such as Tiago (£10 million) from Benfica, Michael Essien (£24.4 million) from Olympique Lyon, Didier Drogba (£24 million) from Olympique de Marseille, Mateja Kezman (£5.4 million) from PSV and Porto pair Ricardo Carvalho (£19.8 million) and Paulo Ferreira (£13.3 million).
Under Mourinho, Chelsea built on the potential developed in the previous season. By early December, they were at the top of the Premier League table and had reached the knock-out stages of the Champions League. He scooped his first trophy by winning the League Cup against Liverpool 3–2 (AET) in Cardiff. Towards the end of the match, Mourinho was escorted from the touchline after putting his finger to his mouth in the direction of Liverpool fans, as a response to taunts directed towards him whilst Liverpool were leading, before the equalising goal.
The club added more trophies as they secured their first top-flight domestic title in 50 years, setting a string of English football records in the process. However, he failed to achieve back-to-back Champions League successes when Chelsea were knocked out of the competition by a controversial goal in the semi-finals by eventual winners Liverpool.[20]
Chelsea started the next season well. They defeated Arsenal 2–1 to win the FA Community Shield, and topped the Premier League from the first weekend of the 2005–06 season. Chelsea beat rivals Manchester United 3–0 to win their second consecutive Premiership title and Mourinho's fourth domestic title in a row. After the presentation of his championship medal, Mourinho threw his medal and blazer into the crowd. He was awarded a second medal within minutes which he also threw into the crowd.
The signing of Ukrainian striker Andriy Shevchenko in the summer of 2006 for a club record fee would also prove to be a point of contention between Mourinho and Abramovich. Shevchenko, at the time of his signing, was one of the most highly regarded strikers in Europe during his time with Milan, where he won the Champions League, Scudetto and Ballon d'Or awards in his seven years at Milan. Chelsea had attempted to sign Shevchenko in the preceding two years but Milan rebuffed Abramovich's interest in him. Shevchenko's first season at Chelsea was viewed as a major disappointment by the Chelsea fans as he only scored four league goals and fourteen in all competitions. Shevchenko's strike partner, Didier Drogba had the highest scoring season of his career that year and this led Shevchenko to be dropped from the starting line-up towards the end of the season by Mourinho. Notably, in the Champions League match at Anfield, Shevchenko was not even included on the bench. Abramovich's insistence on Mourinho playing the Ukrainian was widely viewed as a further source of friction between the two men. Shevchenko's signing was not the only one for Chelsea however, as German captain Michael Ballack was also signed to strengthen the midfield. The Icelandic striker Eiður Guðjohnsen, an important player for Chelsea under Ranieri and Mourinho, departed the club for FC Barcelona.
The 2006–07 season saw growing media speculation that Mourinho would leave the club at the season's conclusion, due to alleged poor relations with owner Roman Abramovich and a power struggle with sporting director Frank Arnesen and Abramovich advisor Piet de Visser. Mourinho later cleared doubts regarding his future at Stamford Bridge, stating that there would only be two ways for him to leave Chelsea: if Chelsea were not to offer him a new contract in June 2010, and if Chelsea were to sack him.[21] He then launched an ambitious campaign for all four trophies available with the aim of becoming the first club in English football to complete "the quadruple".
Despite the unrest, Chelsea, under Mourinho won the League Cup again by defeating Arsenal in the final at the Millennium Stadium. However the possibility of the quadruple was brought to an end on 1 May 2007 when Liverpool eliminated Chelsea from the UEFA Champions League on penalties at Anfield, following a 1–1 aggregate draw. Days later Chelsea failed to win the Premier League title by drawing 1–1 with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on 6 May 2007. This meant that the title went to Manchester United. This was Mourinho's first season without a league title win in five years. Mourinho led Chelsea to a 1–0 victory against Manchester United in the 2007 FA Cup Final, winning in the first final to be played at the new Wembley Stadium. This was his first FA Cup win which meant that he had won every domestic trophy available to a Premier League manager. However, there was to be further friction between himself and Abramovich when Avram Grant was appointed as Director of Football, despite objections from Mourinho. Grant's position was further enhanced by being given a seat on the board. In spite of these tensions, the 2007–08 transfer season would see the departure of Dutch winger Arjen Robben to Real Madrid and French midfielder Florent Malouda moved to Chelsea. Shevchenko was linked with a return to AC Milan but he remained at Chelsea for another year.
In the first match of the 2007–08 season, Chelsea beat Birmingham City 3–2 to set a new record of 64 consecutive home league matches without defeat, surpassing the record set by Liverpool between 1978 and 1981.[22] Despite this feat, Chelsea's start to the 2007–08 season was not as successful as previous starts. The team lost at Aston Villa and followed this with a goalless draw at home to Blackburn Rovers. Their opening game in the UEFA Champions League saw them only manage a 1–1 home draw against the Norwegian team Rosenborg in front of an almost half-empty stadium. Andriy Shevchenko scored Chelsea's only goal in that match.
Mourinho unexpectedly left Chelsea on 20 September 2007 "by mutual consent," although there had been a series of disagreements with chairman Roman Abramovich. The Chelsea board held an emergency meeting and decided it was time to part with their manager. Mourinho left as the most successful manager in Chelsea's history, having won six trophies for the club in three years. He was also undefeated in all home league games. Avram Grant succeeded José Mourinho as Chelsea manager but failed to win any trophies in his year in charge, although he reached the final of the Champions League and League Cup. Grant's Chelsea also finished second in the Premier League.


Mourinho at Inter
On 2 June 2008, Mourinho was appointed the successor of Roberto Mancini at Internazionale on a three-year contract, and brought along with him much of his backroom staff who had served him at both Chelsea and Porto.[23][24] He chose Giuseppe Baresi, a former Inter player and ex-head coach of their youth academy, as his assistant.[25] He spoke solely in Italian in his first press conference as Inter boss, claiming to have learnt it "in three weeks".[26] Mourinho stated that he only intended to make a few major signings in the summer.[27] By the end of the transfer window, he had brought three new players to the side: Brazilian winger Mancini (13 million),[28][29] Ghanaian midfielder Sulley Muntari for reported €14 million,[30] and Portuguese winger Ricardo Quaresma for a cash/player exchange fee of €18.6 million plus young Portuguese midfielder Pelé.[31][32]
In his first season as Inter head coach, Mourinho won the Italian Supercup, beating Roma on penalties,[33] and finished top of Serie A. However, Inter were eliminated 2–0 on aggregate by Manchester United in the first knock-out round of the UEFA Champions League, and he also failed to win the Coppa Italia, being defeated 3–1 on aggregate by Sampdoria in the semi-finals.[34] As UEFA was beginning to push the larger clubs in top leagues to play more homegrown players, Mourinho regularly played 18-year-old Italian forward Mario Balotelli and promoted academy defender Davide Santon to the first team permanently — installing an Italian contingent into a team previously composed of mostly foreign players. Both teenagers played a part in the Scudetto-winning season and played enough games to earn their first senior trophy.
Despite his domestic successes in winning the Scudetto by a ten point margin, Jose Mourinho's first season in Italy was viewed as disappointing by some Inter fans as they failed to improve on the performances of his predecessor Roberto Mancini in the Champions League. Inter put in a series of lacklustre group stage performances that included a shock 1–0 home loss to Panathinaikos and an away draw with Cypriot minnows Anorthosis Famagusta. However, they qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League but failed to make it to the quarter finals after being defeated by Manchester United.
Mourinho also caused immediate ripples in Italian football through his controversial relationships with the Italian press and media, and feuds with major Serie A coaches such as Carlo Ancelotti then of Milan, Luciano Spalletti of Roma and Claudio Ranieri of Juventus. At a press conference in March 2009, he insulted the first two rivals by claiming they would end the season with no honours—and accused the Italian sport journalists of "intellectual prostitution" on their behalf.[35] This rant promptly became very popular in Italy, especially regarding the "zero titles" quote used by Mourinho, and incorrectly pronounced by him as zeru tituli (in correct Italian it would have been zero titoli), which was later extensively referred to by football journalists in Italy. It also became the title's catchphrase used by fans to celebrate Inter's 17th scudetto later that season.[36][37] The catchphrase was even used by Nike to present the celebration shirts for Inter's Serie A title.[38] After the Coppa Italia final in May, fans of Roma's cross-town rivals Lazio, the new Coppa Italia winners, wore shirts with Io campione, tu zero titoli ("I'm a champion, you have no honours") on it,[39] quoting Mourinho's "zeru tituli" statement.
On 16 May 2009, Inter mathematically won the Serie A title, after runners-up Milan lost to Udinese. This loss left the Nerazzurri seven points above their crosstown rivals with only two games remaining. They would eventually finish ten points clear of Milan.[40]
On 28 July 2009, Mourinho was reported to have shown interest in taking over at Manchester United when Alex Ferguson retired. He was quoted as saying, "I would consider going to Manchester United but United have to consider if they want me to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson. If they do, then of course."[41]
Under Mourinho, Inter have remained active in the transfer market. Adriano left Inter in April 2009, and the exit of the Brazilian striker was followed by the Argentine duo Julio Cruz and Hernán Crespo. Legendary Portuguese attacking midfielder and veteran Luís Figo retired. Figo was on the verge of leaving Inter under Mancini due to a lack of playing time but in his final season, Mourinho used him frequently. Mourinho signed Argentine striker Diego Milito, who fell just one goal short of winning the top scorer award with Genoa, and Thiago Motta to bolster the midfield. Perhaps his most notable signing of the summer of his second season was a swap deal of Zlatan Ibrahimović for FC Barcelona's Cameroonian striker Samuel Eto'o and a reported 35 million pound also went to inter. This transfer was the second most expensive in the history of the transfer market, after Cristiano Ronaldo moved to Real Madrid earlier in the summer. Eto'o got off to a promising start with Inter by scoring two goals in the first two matches of the season.
Ricardo Quaresma's signing from Mourinho's old club Porto was viewed as a missing link in the Inter squad, but his play disappointed the club and led him to be loaned off to Chelsea midway through the season, ironically Mourinho's other former club. Mancini also failed to dominate in the midfield and addressing these shortcomings in the transfer market became a priority for Inter. Inter's lack of a creative playmaker, or trequartista, has been blamed for the Champions League failure. In their attempt to deal with this issue, Inter signed Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder from Real Madrid.
Mourinho once again sparked controversy in the summer with his argument with Italy national team coach Marcello Lippi. Lippi predicted that Juventus would win the Scudetto in the 2009–10 season, which Mourinho viewed Lippi's comments as disrespectful to Inter. The previous year, Lippi predicted Inter would win the title and Mourinho did not respond to his prediction. Lippi responded by saying that Mourinho was equal to Ciro Ferrara and Leonardo at Juventus and Milan, respectively, only that he was more experienced. After the row with Lippi, he clashed with Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro over Davide Santon's place in the Inter squad. Cannavaro had said that Santon might have to leave Inter to get regular playing time so he wants to play for Italy in the World Cup. Mourinho responded by saying that Cannavaro was acting like a coach.
Inter struggled in their first two matches of the new season. The team lost the Italian SuperCup to Lazio 2–1 and drew 1–1 with newly promoted Bari at the San Siro. Mourinho's team improved dramatically since then, however, as he built a formidable midfield with Sneijder at the heart of it and the likes of new signing Thiago Motta and veterans Javier Zanetti and Dejan Stanković. Inter went on score more than 30 goals (as of the end of November), thrashing derby rivals Milan 4–0, with new signings Diego Milito and Motta both scoring, and hammering Genoa 5–0, the largest margin of victory in the Serie A that season. He was sent off in the December Derby d'Italia away fixture after he sarcastically applauded the referee for what he felt was a dubious free-kick given to Juventus and Inter went on to lose 2–1, courtesy of a Claudio Marchisio winner in the second-half.[42]
Later during the season, Mourinho maintained a strongly critical position against refereeing in Italy, which reached its peak during the February 22, 2010 league game against Sampdoria, ended in a 0–0 tie, with two Inter players being sent off in the first half. At the end of the first half, José Mourinho made a handcuffs gesture towards a camera which was considered by the Football Association as violent and critical of the refereeing performance, and caused a three-game ban against the Portuguese coach.[43] Also, his difficult relationship with young striker Mario Balotelli and the team's loss of form that led Inter to achieve only seven points in six games (and three of such games, including a shock 1–3 defeat at the hands of Sicilian minnows Catania, happening during Mourinho's ban) were heavily criticized by the media and pundits. Despite this, Mourinho achieved what was hailed as one of his career highlights after Inter managed to progress to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals by defeating Mourinho's former team Chelsea in both legs (2–1 win at San Siro, then followed by a 1–0 win at Stamford Bridge).[44]
On the 6th of April 2010, José Mourinho became the first manager in history to take three different teams to the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League (this record was equalled by Bayern Munich manager Louis van Gaal a day later) after his Internazionale managed to overcome CSKA Moscow 0–1 in Russia in the second leg of their quarter-final tie, which ended 2–0 on aggregate. Wesley Sneijder's goal in the sixth minute proved the difference in a match played in laid-back style. This marked the first time in seven years that Internazionale managed to make it to the semi-finals of the competition.[45] On April 13th, Internazionale continued its good season, having managed to qualify for the Coppa Italia final, for the first time under Mourinho, by beating Fiorentina 1–0 away (2–0 on aggregate).[46] On April 28th 2010, José Mourinho reached the UEFA Champions League Final for the second time in his career after Internazionale beat current holders Barcelona 3-2 on aggregate, after losing 1-0 on the night (which Mourinho called "the most beautiful defeat of my life") and brought Internazionale back into a UEFA Champions League Final 38 years after their last, where they were defeated by AFC Ajax.[47] The final was at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, Madrid against Bayern Munich on May 22.
On May 2, after a 2-0 away win at Rome against Lazio, Inter almost secured the Serie A title. On May 5, the team won the Coppa Italia, defeating AS Roma 1-0 and on the 16th May Inter beat Siena 1-0 to secure the domestic double.
On May 22, 2010, Inter won the UEFA Champions League beating Bayern Munich 2-0, and in doing so Inter became the first Italian club to complete The Treble and Mourinho personally celebrated the second "treble win" in his managerial career and second Champions League win.

Managerial statistics

Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win %
Benfica Portugal 20 September 2000 5 December 2000 &0000000000000011.00000011 &0000000000000006.0000006 &0000000000000003.0000003 &0000000000000002.0000002 &0000000000000054.55000054.55
Leiria Portugal January 2001 20 January 2002 &0000000000000031.00000031 &0000000000000017.00000017 &0000000000000010.00000010 &0000000000000004.0000004 &0000000000000054.84000054.84
Porto Portugal 23 January 2002 26 May 2004 &0000000000000123.000000123 &0000000000000087.00000087 &0000000000000021.00000021 &0000000000000015.00000015 &0000000000000070.73000070.73
Chelsea England 2 June 2004 20 September 2007 &0000000000000185.000000185 &0000000000000131.000000131 &0000000000000036.00000036 &0000000000000018.00000018 &0000000000000070.81000070.81
Internazionale Italy 2 June 2008
&0000000000000108.000000108 &0000000000000067.00000067 &0000000000000026.00000026 &0000000000000015.00000015 &0000000000000062.04000062.04
Total &0000000000000458.000000458 &0000000000000308.000000308 &0000000000000096.00000096 &0000000000000054.00000054 &0000000000000067.25000067.25
Statistics accurate as of match played 22 May 2010

Unbeaten home record

As of May 9 2010, Mourinho is on a run of 136 home league matches unbeaten: 38 (W36–D2) with Porto, 60 (W46–D14) with Chelsea and 38 (W29–D9) with Internazionale.
His last and only home league defeat came when Porto were defeated 3–2 by Beira-Mar on 23 February 2002.[48]

Managerial honours

In eight seasons of club management, including an eight month sabbatical in 2007-08, Mourinho has led his club to win its domestic league six times and the UEFA Champions League twice.

Portugal Porto (2002-2004)

England Chelsea (2004-2007)

Italy Internazionale (2008-)

Individual honours

Special Awards


Mourinho has often been seen as a controversial figure in football. His time at Chelsea, in particular, fuelled this viewpoint as he frequently made outspoken comments that saw him face punishment from the footballing authorities.[51]
On 6 October 2004, Adrian Mutu accused Mourinho of trying to prevent him from playing in a World Cup qualifier. Mourinho was informed by the Chelsea medical team that the player was unfit after a knee injury, but Mutu disagreed and insisted he was fit to play.[52][53] The fitness disagreement soon became irrelevant as Mutu tested positive for cocaine in a routine drugs test and he was sacked on 29 October 2004.[54]
Following a Champions League tie between Chelsea and FC Barcelona in March 2005, Mourinho accused Anders Frisk and Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard of breaking FIFA rules by having a meeting at half–time. Mourinho insisted that this biased the referee and caused him to send off Chelsea striker Didier Drogba in the second half.[55] Frisk admitted that Rijkaard had tried to speak to him but insisted that he had sent him away.[56] The situation intensified when Frisk began to receive death threats from angered fans, causing the referee to retire prematurely.[57] The UEFA referee's chief, Volker Roth, labelled Mourinho an "enemy of football",[58] although UEFA distanced themselves from the comment.[59] After an investigation of the incident, Mourinho was given a two-match touchline ban for his behaviour and both Chelsea and the manager were fined by UEFA, though the body confirmed that it did not hold Mourinho personally responsible for Frisk's retirement.[60][61]
On 2 June 2005, Mourinho was fined £200,000 for his part in the meeting with then Arsenal full-back Ashley Cole in January 2005 in breach of the Premier League rules. His fine was later reduced to £75,000 after a hearing in August.[62] Later that year, he labelled Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger "a voyeur" after being irked at what he saw as the latter's apparent obsession with Chelsea. Wenger was furious with the remark and considered taking legal action against Mourinho.[63] However, the animosity died down and the two managers made peace after Mourinho admitted that he regretted making the comment.[64]
After a league match with Everton on 17 December 2006, Mourinho branded Andrew Johnson "untrustworthy" following a challenge with Chelsea keeper Henrique Hilário. Everton issued a statement threatening legal action and calling on Mourinho to apologize,[65] which he later did.[66]
In August 2009, Mourinho again found himself causing controversy after commenting that the performance of Muslim player Sulley Muntari was lacking fitness and energy due to fasting during the month of Ramadan. He was reported to have said, "Muntari had some problems related to Ramadan, perhaps with this heat it's not good for him to be doing this (fasting). Ramadan has not arrived at the ideal moment for a player to play a football match."[67] The comments sparked an angry response from Muslim leader Mohamed Nour Dachan, who responded, "I think Mourinho could do with talking a little less. A practising [Muslim] player is not weakened because we know from the Institute of Sports Medicine that mental and psychological stability can give a sportsman an extra edge on the field."
On April 21, 2010, after Inter's 3-1 win against FC Barcelona in Milan, Catalan media revealed that Mourinho and Portuguese referee Olegário Benquerença (who was the referee of the San Siro match) were long time friends and also that they co-own a restaurant called O Menino in Leiria, Portugal, accusing Benquerença's friendship with Mourinho of being responsible for Inter's win (Benquerença counted an offside goal by Diego Milito. Catalan radio and media also revealed that Benquerença is called Larapio ("thief") in Portugal, since a 2004 match between Benfica and Porto in Lisbon in which Benquerença disallowed a clear goal by Benfica's Petit, thus helping Porto to win 1-0; however, that match took place the season after Mourinho's departure from the club.[68] Mourinho himself denied any such allegiances. "I have no restaurant with anybody" he said, "maybe Pep has a restaurant in Oslo", taunting Norwegian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo's role in Barcelona's qualification against Chelsea in London for the 2008-09 UEFA Champions League semifinal.

Personal life

Mourinho with his children, Matilde and José Jr.
Mourinho met his wife Tami when they were teenagers in Setúbal, Portugal, and the couple married in 1989.[69][70] Their first child, daughter Matilde, was born in 1996 and they had their first son, José, Jr., four years later. Mourinho, whilst dedicated to football, describes his family as the centre of his life and has noted that the "most important thing is my family and being a good father."[4][70] He was selected as the New Statesman Man of the Year 2005 and was described as a man devoted to both his family and his work.[3] Mourinho has also been a part of social initiatives and charity work, helping with a youth project, bringing Israeli and Palestinian children together through football and donating his "lucky" jacket to Tsunami Relief, earning £22,000 for the charity.[71][72]
Widely known for his strong personality, refined dress sense,[73] and quirky comments at press conferences,[74] Mourinho has experienced fame outside of football circles, featuring in European advertisement campaigns for Samsung, American Express and Adidas, amongst others.[75] An unofficial biography of Mourinho, titled O Vencedor – De Setúbal a Stamford Bridge (The Winner – from Setúbal to Stamford Bridge), was a best seller in Portugal. However, Mourinho did not authorise the biography and attempted, unsuccessfully, to prevent the book from being published.[76]
Mourinho was part of an unusual event in May 2007 when he was arrested for preventing animal welfare officials from putting his dog in to quarantine.[77] The dog had not been sufficiently inoculated but the situation was resolved after it was returned to Portugal and Mourinho received a police caution.[78]
In 23 March 2009, José Mourinho was awarded a doctorate honoris causa degree by the Technical University of Lisbon for his accomplishments in football.[50]
Mourinho speaks Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, French and English fluently. He also speaks Catalan.[79]