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News Article  | English Premier League

Mourinho Reveals Special Relationship With African Star

Manchester United Boss Jose Mourinho Reveals Special Relationship With African Star

By Keegan Kruger - May 03, 2018 06:30 PM @KeeganKruger

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has worked with a number of African players in his career, but he recently opened up about the special relationship he shares with one.

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During his time Chelsea, the Portuguese tactician shared the dressing room with the likes of Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou, Geremi and Celestine Babayaro but it was Ghanaian midfielder Michael Essien who he had a unique bond with.

 “He was not my player, he is my son - I am his white daddy,” Mourinho said in an interview with Malaysian television station Astro Supersport.

“He was probably the only one who took me to his home, to the real home. To the place, he was born, to the street where he played football as a kid.

“He made me fall in love with Ghana, with Accra where he lived, because then I had a better understanding of his mentality.”

Essien struggled with injuries during his career, but Mourinho highlighted his dedication and commitment as his strongest attributes.

“I understand why as a player he was ready for everything,” Mourinho added.

“He was ready to die for the fellow players, for the club, for the manager, why he was ready to play like he did for me at Real Madrid with a knee that was not a knee anymore.

“It was a destroyed knee but with that personality, that desire and that mentality he suffered, always he suffered, but always with a smile. Michael smiles a lot.”

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The Red Devils boss brought the African star to Chelsea in 2005 in a £25 million (R430 million) transfer from Lyon and also signed him on loan at Real Madrid in 2012.

What is your take on the special bond Mourinho had with Essien? Have your say in the comments section below. 


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SiyaVToni Joined: 10 Oct 2010
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SiyaVToni May 04, 2018 06:04 AM
So many African players have blossomed under youth leadership including our own Benni McCarthy, God bless you special one you are one of the very few that treat black african players with utmost respect that they deserve, a lot of coaches are doing it today because they learned it from you and Ferguson
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KhothaKhosi Joined: 15 Feb 2018
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KhothaKhosi May 03, 2018 07:32 PM
The spice that Africans bring to the west, the human aspect of life. Connecting with others at a personal level is critical to developing good work relationships and getting the best out of each other. Well done to both of you. well done Esseine , good work at real as well.
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musah005 Joined: 05 Mar 2017
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musah005 May 03, 2018 06:58 PM
ok but you shouldn't have brought him to Real since he didn't add value there

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