Mourinho Reveals Special Relationship With African Star
Manchester United Boss Jose Mourinho Reveals Special Relationship With African Star
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.
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.”
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.