Jose Mourinho names the players he enjoyed coaching most during his career


Jose Mourinho has opened up on the players he enjoyed coaching most during a managerial career that’s featured spells at Manchester United, Chelsea and Real Madrid.

The 61-year-old, who is currently out of work after being relieved of his duties at AS Roma, has managed some of football’s most decorated players over the past two decades.

From the likes of John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba during his first spell as Chelsea manager, to Real Madrid trio Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos.

‘The Special One’ has worked alongside hundreds, if not thousands, of talented players throughout a hugely successful 24-year career. But who did he enjoy coaching most?

Speaking to former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand on VIBE with FIVE, Mourinho gave a fascinating insight behind his choices.

After Ferdinand asked his guest to reel off the players he enjoyed coaching most, Mourinho replied: “The players I most enjoyed are the players that gave me everything.

“There are dozens and dozens and dozens. And they are maybe not the most talented ones but they gave everything… the ones that I felt could not give anything more than what they gave. These are my players.

“I don’t want to be unfair with people but, when you play a kid, the kid becomes your kid for life. That’s always my feeling. I look to Raphael Varane, now, at the end of his career. He is my kid.

“When I look to Scott McTominay… Pogba was on the bench and I played him in Seville. He is my boy. When I go from club to club, I find my boys. And they will always be my boys.”

Image credit: Getty

Mourinho added: “Then there are the big stars. My captains. [John] Terry, [Javier] Zanetti and Jorge Costa. These are the guys that play through anything. They are phenomenal.

“Then there are the stars that make the difference, even when people think you are the genius. You are not the genius. They are. They win matches for you. Cristiano [Ronaldo], [Karim] Benzema, [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic and Didier [Drogba]. They make you feel like a genius.”

On the subject of Cristiano Ronaldo, Mourinho also detailed how he turned the five-time Ballon d’Or winner into a goalscoring machine at Real Madrid.

He said: “Motivation, you don’t need to give him. Ambition, responsibility, you cannot give him. Technically, you cannot give him. It’s just to give him some tactical adjustments and let the guy be happy.”

Image credit: Getty
Image credit: Getty

Mourinho added: “I think you don’t coach. I don’t have to teach much, it is about being happy, it is about creating an environment by the tactical point of view, by the idea of football where the player can show his best.

“I think Madrid, for him, was a little bit of a transition because for you, he was a winger.

“Right winger, left winger, out wide, dribbling, attacking people, beating people.

“In Madrid, he became more the goalscorer he was for the rest of his career.

“In fact, probably the first time he played as a striker in a big match was Real Madrid vs Barcelona in the cup final where he scored an amazing goal, an amazing header in extra-time.

“Probably that was the beginning of people having a feeling that animal could be a goalscorer and not just a pure winger.

“Madrid was a little bit of that, a little bit hybrid because he was playing from the left but he was not wide and he was not chasing full-backs.

“We were protecting him with the balance that we were giving behind with Xabi Alonso and Sami Khedira.”

If you want to watch the full interview with Mourinho, check out the clip below:

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