If you were to take a poll just of people who are Jose Mourinho and you asked them which person in football should be the star of a cartoon and trading card game, the response will undoubtedly be "Jose Mourinho." So to satisfy that important demand, "Mourinho and the Special Ones" is now a thing that actually exists.
Like a cross between Pokemon and Captain Tsubasa, the cartoon will air on Portugal's top children's television channel (with the aim of expanding to Europe and the UK) starting August 31 with a trading card game, mobile apps and social media tie-ins. The show features a character bearing Mourinho's name and likeness (well, his likeness circa 2004), but not his voice. Though I fully believe that Mourinho does actually say "Special Ones, go!" to his teams before every match in real life, as he does in the trailer above.
Here's how the company behind the "multilayered brand concept" (kids' favorite kind of brand concepts!), Sports Stars Media, describes the plot of the show:
The opportunity of a lifetime comes by when you least expect it and for Alex and his friends, a chance meeting with their hero, changes their lives forever. What was supposed to be a simple football match attracted the attention of the world’s greatest football coach. The Special One himself, Jose Mourinho.
Mourinho is so impressed with Alex and his friends that he decides to help them follow their dream whilst also settling a few old scores with his longtime nemesis, Viktor Von Haii, the owner of the Junior Sharks football team.
Alex and his team mates have been given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. But do they have what it takes to be the best and realise their potential to become…. The Special Ones.
No, Viktor Von Haii does not look exactly like Rafa Benitez. Or Pep Guardiola. Or Arsene Wenger. Or Andre Villas-Boas. Or all of Barcelona. Or the entire country of Italy. But if the show is a success, there will surely be plenty of time to develop all of those villainous characters while Alex and his friends play a will-destroying brand of defensive football.
“I believe the series Mourinho and the Special Ones truly combine education and entertainment. I am proud to be part of this project,” says the Chelsea manager. The entertainment comes in watching Mourinho succeed and the education comes in learning about just how great Jose Mourinho is.
As for the trading card game, it sounds both simple and...not. Here's the description (via BoardGameGeek):
Mourinho and the Special Ones (MSO) is a trading card game based on the TV series of the same name. Two players build themselves a team of footballers and a draw deck of skills and tactics then go head-to-head against each other.
The game is played over two halves on a simplified playing area of lines (Forward, Midfield, Defense) and zones (Wing and Centre) that represent the Pitch.
When you are the attacking player, you will attempt to pass the ball around the pitch, avoiding tackles by the defending player, until you decide to try and score a goal. Skill and tactic cards are used to boost the attributes of footballers to make them better in these situations.
The winning team is the one that scores the most goals.
The game also incorporates Augmented Reality on the cards
You can also win the game by publicly undermining your opponent until they develop an all-consuming rage and paranoia that haunts them for the rest of their lives.
If this is a success, look for Arsene Wenger and the Frugal Friends to hit the airwaves sometime next year.