Benni McCarthy: An Unexpected Journey

ONE year ago, we put out a special Big Interview ahead of the Champions League final. You may remember Paul Clement breaking down in fascinating detail the final he was part of as assistant to then Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti in 2014. If you haven’t heard it, it’s still available and I think you’d enjoy it.

Anyway, we thought we would make this a Big Interview tradition. So here, ahead of the 2017 final, we have another story of Champions League glory, from a winner in 2004.

Jose Mourinho’s Champions League win with Porto established him as the most coveted manager in football. It was a colossal victory, achieved against mighty odds and with a team Mourinho built on a scale that could hardly have been further from the giants they would face on the way.

That team’s top goalscorer, and our guide through this story, is a case in point. Benedict McCarthy will start by explaining how Mourinho rustled him away from Celta Vigo using training ground espionage. After that, things get really juicy.

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