Jose Mourinho
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Jose Mourinho Becomes Paddy Power Games Ambassador

Former Manchester United, Chelsea and Real Madrid manager José Mourinho has become the Games Ambassador of Paddy Power. The Irish betting company, which has never shied away from a controversial subject matter, has released an advert featuring the Portuguese manager as they look to increase the number of people using their games platform. It’s all around the idea of being ‘special’, Mourinho’s nickname.

Mourinho is currently seeking work as a football manager, meaning that he’s looking for other ways to make himself some money. That includes the likes of working as a pundit for Sky Sports and now, it seems, playing the part of himself in an advert for the Irish bookmaker. The self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ has produced an Easter egg filled advertisement that tells viewers that they also could be ‘special’.

It’s All About Being Special

The advert has focussed on customers being ‘special’, though it’s difficult to tell whether that decision was made before or after José Mourinho was confirmed as the central figure that would star in it. Journalists were led by the nose by the Portuguese boss, who said in his press conference after being appointed Chelsea coach, “Please don’t call me arrogant, but I’m European champion and I think I’m a special one.”

The nickname stuck, gaining more traction when Mourinho seemed to win trophies wherever he went. Admittedly, the man that won the European Cup with his little-fancied Porto side has tended to take jobs at clubs that are either expected to win trophies or else have the money to buy players that should. Even so, titles with the likes of Chelsea, Real Madrid and Internazionale have followed wherever he’s turned up.

An Advert Filled with Easter eggs

Whether you love Mourinho or hate him, he remains absolute box office, so it’s little surprise that a bookmaker like Paddy Power, which has never shied away from controversial tactics to raise its profile, has employed him as an ambassador for the company’s online games. The advert that they have created is filled with self-referential moments, sometimes referred to as ‘Easter eggs’, that viewers can look out for as they watch it in the coming weeks and months.

The advert appears to involve a tour of the Portuguese manager’s ‘house’, stopping to show the likes of a photo of himself as Chelsea manager, beating Manchester United at Old Trafford. There’s a cabinet that has a bust of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, his former player, inside it, as well as a number of Russian dolls; almost certainly a reference to the fact that Russian billionaire, Roman Abramovich, owns Chelsea.

Other references to his past adorn the walls, including an ‘I love JT’ fridge magnet as a nod to his former Chelsea captain John Terry. Mourinho was also known to have spats with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger over the years, once saying that he was a ‘specialist in failure’ and a ‘voyeur’. Both of those moments from his past were acknowledge on a bookcase with books, such as ‘The Voyeur’ and ‘Le Specialiste En Failure’.

A Perfect Match

José Mourinho isn’t the only celebrity to be used in a betting advert. Ray Winstone has long been the face of a famous high street bookmaker, whilst 10Bet recently chose to employ Didier Drogba as their Global Ambassador. The pair-up of a man known to court controversy during his time at various football clubs, such as when he attempted to gouge the eye of an opposition couch, and the Irish bookmaker feels like a match made in heaven.

Paddy Power will doubtless have been weighing up using a celebrity to endorse their product for some time. After stunts such as when they launched a ‘pop-up confessional’ when Pope Francis went to Ireland or they built a ‘Roy the Redeemer’ statue at the white cliffs of Dover ahead of Euro 2012, they presumably thought that they needed to go one step further. Come forward Mr. Mourinho, it’s time for your close-up.

Paddy Power did use a well-known face for one of its adverts recently, of course. Rhodri Giggs, whose wife cheated on him with his bother Ryan, starred in an advert all about loyalty being ‘dead’. That was full of a similar number of fun little references, such as one of the ales in his local pub being called the ‘Wandering Cock’, but the advert was taken off air and now it appears that they’ve turned to an even bigger…gun.

Whilst Mourinho has long been a decisive figure in the football world, it’s certainly interesting to note that the manager seems to be happy enough to poke fun at himself – just as Paddy Power often do. The bookmaker revealed that he made suggestions and even wrote certain parts of the script himself, proving that he really is something of a perfectionist. Even the script writers accepted it improved things, just like he does with football teams that he manages.