Mourinho’s closest ally issues passionate defence of boss

Matt Stead

Jose Mourinho’s former assistant manager Rui Faria has issued a passionate defence of his fellow Portuguese.

Faria left Manchester United in the summer, having been Mourinho’s right-hand man since his days at Porto.

The 43-year-old was promoted from Mourinho’s fitness coach at Porto to his assistant at Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and United, with a second spell at Chelsea in between.

His departure has been seen by many as the reason for Mourinho’s struggles this season, with the manager no longer able to confide in Faria.

But the Portuguese, who is now looking to start his career as a head coach – just maybe not at Arsenal – has issued a defence of Mourinho.

“It was a stop to restart,” he told The Times. “When I left with a heavy heart, I am first speaking of the friendship with José, the relationship that, of course, doesn’t finish but it is different.

“My heavy heart was secondly, of course, leaving United, leaving all the good people there.

“I’ve always been a humble person with everybody. I gave everyone respect, from the kitchen people, kitman, medical department, everyone, and I was sad to leave.

“It was not a decision I took overnight, it was a mature decision and I don’t regret it. Life has no rehearsals. You live only once. I was living there every day, maybe more time spent at work than with the family.

“José’s a special person and a special professional. He loves what he does 24 hours a day, his motivation levels are incomparable. He is demanding but the more you deliver, the less he asks of you.

“You can get knowledge from a school but wisdom comes with experiences and I don’t think there’s a manager in the world with the experience José has and the wisdom.

“You don’t just erase what he did in football. People should respect José more than they do. If they showed more respect, maybe people would have a different person towards them. When you feel you’re not being respected you have a tendency also to answer the same way.

“And José sells [newspapers] like no one. If you’re a manager who hasn’t worked for a while and wants to get on the front page of the paper you just say something bad or critical about José and it will be front page.

“Today there is this hunger of showing on Instagram and Twitter a video of a player working with a personal trainer at home. This is the worst thing that can happen at the highest level of competition.

“You have a programme in the club, people managing your health and suddenly you go home and tell a guy you want to be stronger. OK, he gives him more strength but it’s not considering what’s being done at the club or the fatigue of the player and it’s bad for you. It’s a modern disease.”