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How The Footballing World Might Have Looked Without Mourinho's Touchline Moment

How The Footballing World Might Have Looked Without Mourinho's Touchline Moment

It's March 9th 2004 and a young, brash Portuguese manager arrives at Old Trafford with his Porto team 2-1 up against Manchester United after the first leg of their last 16 Champions League tie. Unfortunately for Jose Mourinho in this parallel universe things aren't going to go his way.

The match in question would become infamous for Mourinho announcing himself on the big stage and running down the Old Trafford touchline to celebrate a famous victory for his side.

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It would propel Porto to becoming Champions League winners and Mourinho to Chelsea where he would further push his reputation as one of the great managers of the time. But a linesman's flag changed the course of history.

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At 1-0 up, and leading on away goals, Sir Alex Ferguson's side had a goal wrongly disallowed for offside. Unable to break the Porto defence again they knew one goal would turn the tie the other way. A Tim Howard error in the last minute led to a goal for Francisco Costinha and sent the Portuguese side through but what if the flag had stayed down?

Paul Scholes' first half brace sends Manchester United through to the quarter finals.

With Scholes' brace in the first half United hold onto their lead and potentially even add to it with Mourinho's side needing to push forward for a goal just to take them to extra time.

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Jose doesn't get his sliding down the touchline moment so he'll be less of a hypocrite several years later if he ends up with his United team being battered by Chelsea.

Based on the rest of the run to the final it's possible that Sir Alex Ferguson adds another Champions League win to his collection.

Roman Abramovich sacks Claudio Ranieri and replaces him with England manager Sven Goran Eriksson

Chelsea still lose to Monaco in the Champions League semi-final after too much tinkering from Ranieri. However, with no Champions League to his name, it's not Mourinho who gets the job.

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Some rumours suggested whoever won the final would be the next Chelsea manager but Abramovich held 'secret' meetings with England boss Sven earlier in the season and this is the route Chelsea take.

Martin O'Neill leads England to the semi-finals of World Cup 2006

With Eriksson taking over at Stamford Bridge England turn to Celtic's Martin O'Neil. The Northern Irishman enjoyed his spell at Leicester City winning the Worthington Cup and since moving north of the border has taken Celtic to a UEFA Cup final.

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Under his tutelage the 'Golden Generation' reach their best World Cup finish since 1990 only to be beaten by a determined Zidane.

In 2008 he qualifies for the Euros and takes them to the final where they are beaten by Spain.

Chelsea Sack third manager in three years after Fabio Capello is latest to fail to win Premier League

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Eriksson can't replicate the magic of his title winning Lazio side and like Ranieri is done away with. Abramovich turns to Fabio Capello but the Italian also struggles to get to grips with the Premier League.

Chelsea fans are desperate for a league title but equally they start to get frustrated with Abramovich's hire 'em, fire 'em tactics that aren't working.

Jose gets a job with Juventus after sticking with Porto longer.

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How The Footballing World Might Have Looked Without Mourinho's Touchline Moment

With no high profile job immediately available to the Special One he stays in his home country for longer, wins several league titles and impresses in Europe.

After Didier Deschamps leaves Juventus the Old Lady give Jose his big break in Italy. However the Special One can't break Inter's monopoly on the title and leaves in 2010, finally making his way to the Premier League.

Rafa Benitez leaves Liverpool and is replaced by the Special One

Having previously done so well with the Reds and won the Champions League with them Benitez finishes seventh in the league and at the end of the season leaves Anfield.

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Still desperate to revive the success of the 80s Liverpool turn to Mourinho, whose Juve side have just finished runners up in the league.

He arrives in England claiming to be Liverpool's Messiah.

From seventh to Champions in one season

Liverpool finally win the Premier League for the first time. Mourinho brings instant success to Anfield when he gets the chance to name himself the Special One.

Fans delight in singing Mourinho's name from the Kop. Manchester United finishing second is the icing on the cake for the Merseyside team.

Barcelona become first team to defend the Champions League.

Not in a constant feud with Real Madrid, Pep Guardiola is free to concentrate on winning the Champions League again. After beating Manchester United at Wembley one season the Catalans come up against even more away disadvantage the next year.

They play Bayern Munich in the Allianz Arena but are too dominant for the Germans. After the final Guardiola signs a new one year deal with Barca.

Sir Alex Ferguson retires with a league and Champions League double.

Sir Alex Ferguson announces his decision to retire midway through the season but unlike in 2002 it doesn't have an adverse effect on his team.

They win back the Premier League with Robin van Persie at the forefront and having beaten an average Real Madrid side in the last 16 repeat their 1999 final with Bayern this time at Wembley.

The German's lose their second final in a row and Fergie retires with his 13th title success and fourth Champions League success.

Guardiola takes over at Old Trafford and Mourinho heads to the Camp Nou.

With Fergie retired only one man can take the reins at Old Trafford and that's Guardiola. The Barca manager's contract ends and he heads for the Premier League to continue the attacking style of play United have been known for.

Barca, wanting to carry on their success of appointing club men, turn to their former interpreter, scout and coach in the form of Mourinho. The Portuguese manager has enjoyed relative success at Anfield winning the league and back-to-back FA Cups as well as the league cup in his three seasons.

Guardiola takes the Spain job, Mourinho heads back to the Premier League.

After seven intense seasons at Barcelona and Manchester United Guardiola decides that he'll take the Spain job off Vicente del Bosque after Euro 2016. He leaves the Premier League after two titles in three seasons.

Mourinho enjoys his spell at Barcelona but only wins La Liga once with Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid taking the title in the first season and Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid taking it in the third season. He returns to the Premier League not at Old Trafford but at Stamford Bridge.

Ryan Giggs takes control at champions United having been Guardiola's assistant manager...

See even in a parallel universe Mourinho and Chelsea are destined to be together eventually.

Of course we can't know for sure what might have happened if Paul Scholes' goal hadn't been wrongly given offside but it's likely that football would have changed a lot!

Topics: Jose Mourinho, Chelsea, Football, Manchester United, FC Porto, Champions League, Real Madrid, Inter Milan

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Ryan Sidle

Ryan is a writer for SPORTbible. He covers all sport from football, formula one, cricket, rugby, tennis, athletics, mma and wrestling. He obviously hates YOUR football team and has no interest in synchronised swimming.