In the foreword for a new book on Clough called I Believe in Miracles, the Chelsea boss talks about the similarities between himself and the two-time European Cup-winning manager.
The Portuguese revealed he went on a day trip to Nottingham during Euro 96 while he was working at Barcelona to see the place where Clough enjoyed his success.
"I walked all the way (around the city) and when I saw the stadium I thought: 'Are you kidding me - this club won the European Cup? Twice?'" Mourinho says.
"It was a nice stadium and a nice city, but it was a small place
It was the size of the stadium that really took me aback.
"A small stadium, a small crowd - I looked around and tried to take it in."
Clough won back-to-back European Cups with Forest in 1979 and 1980
He also gained many neutral admirers with his wit and outspoken views.
Mourinho, who has also won the trophy twice, said: "A lot of people say we have similarities and there are certainly coincidences."
Mourinho admires the way Clough used to project himself in interviews and press conferences.
He said: "We all probably remember Clough's best quotes
'I wouldn't say I am the best football manager there is,' he used to say, 'but I am in the top one.' I love that line.
"He had all that self- esteem and big self-belief
He was very confident about himself, and from what I know about him he was very comfortable with the attention.
"Maybe because Brian Clough was such a huge personality, with so much charisma, everyone remembers his quotes and the stories and a few people forget his talents.
"He didn't win two European Cups with Nottingham Forest just because of his charisma.
"History cannot delete what he and Nottingham Forest did - their results, the cups, the achievements, absolutely unbelievable achievements.
"I have huge respect for what they did
I think if Brian Clough was around today, we would get on."
Source : PA