Jose Mourinho is one of the best and most successful managers in the world. He has also fallen out with some of the best and most successful footballers in the world. Here are quite literally some of those players.
As with so many others before him, Martial has been skilfully manoeuvred to the periphery by Mourinho, whose latest wheeze is to apparently be genuinely annoyed about the player leaving a *pre-season tour* for the birth of his son.
Sold to Manchester United by Mourinho amid reports of a fractious relationship at Chelsea, the pair now seem to get on okay having been reunited at Old Trafford. “My relationship with Mourinho is good,” insists Mata. “I’ve said it a thousand times already.” There you have it. Not even Jose can stay mad at that lovely, nice Juan Mata.
Casillas’ god-like status at Real Madrid never sat right with Mourinho, who seemed to dislike everything about the goalkeeper: his close relationship with Barcelona players, the fact his girlfriend was a journalist, the way he disagreed with Mourinho’s tactics. Mourinho once sent a text to his former Inter goalkeeper Julio Cesar saying he stopped more shots with one arm than Casillas could with two.
It would be literally impossible for Ramos and Mourinho, each of whom could start a feud in an empty room not to have clashed. Despite their bickering, Ramos remained a mainstay of the Madrid defence during the Mourinho years, but did once pretend to forget who Mourinho was in an interview. Also once defiantly wore Mesut Ozil’s shirt after Mourinho had controversially subbed the German. But to be honest, it’s disappointingly low-level stuff from two of the game’s arch s**thouses.
A long-time ally of his countryman for fairly obvious reasons, but the relationship soured over Mourinho’s increasingly bizarre treatment of Casillas. Mourinho attributed Pepe’s beef to the emergence of Raphael Varane, while Pepe for his part insists Mourinho has not been missed since leaving Madrid.
Mourinho was recorded doing banter about Eto’o’s indeterminate age, describing the Cameroon striker as “32 years old, maybe 35, who knows?” Eto’o labelled Mourinho a “fool” and a “puppet”, before getting his revenge with that excellent ‘old man’ celebration after scoring against Tottenham.
Mourinho lamented that his compatriot “thinks he knows everything and the coach cannot help him” and also insisted the “real Ronaldo” was the Brazilian one.
The Brazilian diplomatically describes his relationship with Mourinho as “respectful but complicated” during a difficult spell at Real Madrid. Unable to replicate the form that had made him a superstar at Milan, Kaka said he was “completely destroyed” in Madrid. “Jose Mourinho was a difficult coach for me. I trained, I fought and I prayed a lot, but having not received the confidence of the coach, I realised that I could not work with him.”
Unusually among those on this list, Costa places the blame for his SOURED RELATIONSHIP with Mourinho squarely at his own door. “There were a few moments that I made mistakes; plays which I shouldn’t have made given all the love and respect he gave to me. Thus, I have nothing against him. If there is someone who should have something against someone it is Mourinho himself [towards me].”
Mourinho is far from alone here, in fairness, and does appear to be able to look back on Balotelli’s various banters with something approaching affection, notably the time Balotelli missed a meeting with his manager because he’d gone to watch the Italian Grand Prix. “I told him ‘Mario, you have to come to my office’ and he was saying meetings in your office I can have every day, but to see the Formula One, is only once a year in Italy. A couple of days later I had to laugh.”
Exchanged words with Mourinho on the touchline after being hauled off after an hour in a defeat at Tottenham. The Sun gleefully report that the pair “are barely on speaking terms”, with player and manager communicating only through Rui Faria.
One of many, many players to seemingly fall out with Mourinho during his acrimonious final (half) season at Chelsea. Pointedly stated that it took Mourinho’s replacement, Antonio Conte, just one week to improve him as a player.
Sold to PSG by Mourinho, who insisted the defender “would not be missed”. Chelsea re-signed him two years later.
Made zero league starts for Inter under Mourinho, and his description of his former manager sounds like something from a David Attenborough documentary: “Mourinho is arrogant and selfish, and likes to assert his dominance.” We would totally watch a David Attenborough Mourinho documentary.
According to Sid Lowe, Mourinho told the Real Madrid winger that “even if the team plane crashed without him on it and he was the only man available, he still would not play the following week.” Leon soon returned to Getafe, grumbling about workplace bullying as he went.
Kevin De Bruyne
The Belgian was shipped out of Chelsea quick-smart after failing to acquiesce to Mourinho’s authority. Turned out to be quite a handy player.
Given the number of players Mourinho sold at Chelsea who went on to prove quite good, it’s perhaps no surprise that he can get a bit spiky about it. “People say that I was the one that sold Salah and it is the opposite. I bought Salah. Chelsea decided to sell him, okay?” Okay m8.
The first and only time Mourinho failed to get the best out of a flair player, binned him and then watched him thrive elsewhere.
A key Mourinho lieutenant, following his manager from Porto to Chelsea to Real Madrid. But even Carvalho didn’t have an entirely harmonious relationship with his mentor. “In our first year at Chelsea, we had a collision in the dressing room,” Carvalho revealed in 2010. “I answered back and then he answered me again.” Unlike so many other relationships on this list, though, the repair was swift. “He told me: ‘You spoke to me and I spoke to you – that’s it. If you have to play you are going to play.’ From that moment it was solved.”
The excitable French defender brilliantly threatened to score own goals if he didn’t get his desired move to Arsenal, a story we know about because Chelsea released an official statement in order to put it on record, adding that Gallas “continues to attack Jose Mourinho and this cannot be left unchallenged”.
Struggled so badly after joining Inter from Porto that he ‘won’ the 2008 Bidone d’Oro award for the worst player in Serie A. “My biggest regret was joining Inter,” Quaresma said. “I woke up crying when I had to attend training sessions.”