Jose Mourinho was sacked as manager of Premier League champions Chelsea on Thursday after a calamitous run of results left the west London club one point above the relegation zone.
A club statement said Chelsea and the 52-year-old Portuguese had parted company by "mutual consent" seven months after he led them to the title by an eight-point margin.
It concludes a spectacular fall from grace for Mourinho, rated as one of the world's best coaches, who declared himself the "happy one" when he returned for a second stint in charge of Chelsea in 2013 after spells at Inter Milan and Real Madrid.
Chelsea's 2-1 defeat at surprise league leaders Leicester City on Monday, their ninth loss in 16 league games since the start of a season that has gone spectacularly wrong, proved to be the final straw for Russian owner Roman Abramovich.
After that latest setback Mourinho accused some of his players of "betraying my work" -- a verbal attack that appeared to be his last throw of the dice in halting the slide.
"All at Chelsea thank Jose for his immense contribution since he returned as manager in the summer of 2013," a statement on the club's website (www.chelseafc.com) said.