Speculation mounts over Mourinho's future amid troubles at Real Madrid

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It began as a marriage of convenience between a coach hungry to establish himself at the top of his sport and a club determined to stop the runaway success of its archrival.

For Jose Mourinho, coaching Real Madrid added a major notch to his career, having previously led Inter Milan to the 2010 Champions League title and guiding Chelsea to six trophies in three years.

Madrid president Florentino Perez banked heavily on Mourinho having the qualities required to counter Pep Guardiola's stinging victories with Barcelona and also the strength of character to sort out a squad encumbered with "galactico" trappings but without a single item of silverware.

Two-and-a-half seasons later, the honeymoon is in tatters and the talk is that it was never a love match anyway.