Alex Ferguson waxes effusive on Jose Mourinho.
What he said:
“He’s good looking, he’s got that sort of George Clooney bit in his hair now. But I think he is a great example, he can speak five languages or whatever he can.”
Former Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson showers praise on current Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho in an interview to Clare Balding for a BT Sport documentary to be broadcast on Boxing Day.
“He goes and becomes an interpreter for Bobby Robson, follows him to Barcelona, works under Louis Van Gaal; he is learning all the time.He [Mourinho] has got a determination, he wants to be a coach.He never played the game, by the way – you tell me how many presidents would give a manager a job who has never played the game? None. But he has done it.
Then he goes and manages a small team in Portugal, then goes to Porto and wins the league, wins the Uefa Cup, wins the European Cup, goes to Chelsea and wins the league. Goes to Inter Milan. That is an example to anyone who wants to do well, you shouldn’t let the barriers get in your way if you want to.”
Blues coach Mourinho reciprocated the Scot’s approval with similar acclaim (on the same show).
The Portuguese said that he always ordered the same bottle of wine whenever United played them at Stamford Bridge.
“It was Chelsea Football Club catering that bought the wine, and obviously the wine was not the top quality that the boss deserves. It was quite funny but disappointing.
So the next time we play against each other, I called a friend and I told him, the best I want the best.
And from that moment always the same bottle when I play against the boss.”
“Everything, his talent, the time he put his talent at the service of Manchester United and football in general. The passion that he has put in to everything, and after that in private moments, obviously, a good friend, a good person, a fantastic sense of humour. I like him very, very much. Now and again I’ve had questions to put to him and the way he has answered to me was always magnificent and a great support.”
What Ferguson really meant:
“He’s better looking than me plus he can travel all over Europe with his facility for picking up new languages. Imagine he can coach in five different tongues and claim he’s the ‘Chosen One’ in each of them too.”
What he definitely didn’t:
“He (Mourinho) would make a great travelling salesman, wouldn’t he?”