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Jose Mourinho is the kind of manager who can provoke passionate responses from his players. So much so, that Zlatan Ibrahimovic stated in his autobiography he became “someone he was willing to die for” but of course along the way Mourinho has made plenty of enemies.
Quaresma was signed by Mourinho when he was in charge of Inter Milan. Despite a bright start from the former Barcelona flop, Quaresma was pushed out of the first-team and won an award for being the worst player in the Serie A. Quaresma’s confidence was so low in Milan he would wake up crying before training. The winger later said that his move to Inter Milan was his biggest ever regret and received no sympathy from Mourinho. Luckily he got his career back on track on spells with Porto and Besiktas.
The Chelsea playmaker actually has a lot to thank Mourinho for. The ‘Special One’ returned to Stamford Bridge in 2014 and helped develop the forward into the world-class talent he is today. Months after lifting the first Premier League title, Hazards relationship with Mourinho began to fall apart. In a game against Leicester City at the start of the season, Hazard went down injured near the end of the game and physio Eva Carneiro treated him against Mourinho’s wishes. The fiasco that ensued helped destabilise the manager’s second tenure in East London. Later Hazard was dropped after a dip in form and fans labelled him as of the ‘rats’ for plotting the manager’s downfall.
Most of you will remember Gallas from his days at Arsenal, not only was he captain but somehow managed to inherit Bergkamp’s number 10 shirt. The French centre back made his name at Chelsea under Mourinho, playing a key role in their two Premier League titles. While Gallas rates the Portuguese tactician as the “best coach he has ever worked with” that didn’t stop him from completely undermining him. Gallas was so desperate to leave Stamford Bridge that he failed to show up for their preseason tour and told Mourinho he would score own goals if he was picked.
One man who certainly never saw eye-to-eye with Mourinho was David Luiz. The Brazilian left Chelsea against his own wishes in 2014 as Mourinho believed he was too attacking for a centre back. He prefers defenders who are more defensively minded and will take fewer risks going forward. This is understandable as Luiz at times plays like he’s being controlled by a 5-year-old on FIFA.
Luke Shaw’s Man United career hasn’t exactly turned out as expected. The full-back has struggled to regain the form prior to his nasty double leg break against PSV in the Champions League. The youngster endured a torrid time under Mourinho at Old Trafford, publicly slating him in the press for his below-par performances. Surprisingly, Shaw wasn’t sold in the Summer and has regained his starting position at left back.
Kevin De Bruyne
Kevin De Bruyne returned to Chelsea for the 2013/14 campaign after an impressive loan spell in the Bundesliga with Bremen. Jose convinced De Bruyne to stay in London and promised him regular first-team action in return. Despite a man of the match performance on his debut, his playing time was slashed by the £30 million arrival of William. Subsequently, the talisman only managed 130 minutes of Premier League football and when questioned in the press, Mourinho stated: “he wasn’t doing enough in training”. Frustrated by lack of game time, De Bruyne handed in a transfer request and secured an £18 million move to Wolfsburg. 18 months later he secured a lucrative move to rivals Man City which left Chelsea fans pulling out their hair.
The iconic shot-stopper was a fans favourite at Real Madrid until his tragic departure from the Bernabeu to Porto. Mourinho treated Casillas terribly and was the sole reason behind his move to Portugal. The pair had numerous arguments during their time together and the keeper was especially unhappy with Mourinho’s opinion that Madrid couldn’t match Barcelona by pure footballing means. Their relationship became strained in 2011 when Madrid’s starting line-up was leaked to the press ahead of their game against Barca in 2011. The manager suspected that Casillas’ journalist girlfriend Sara Carbonero leaked the news. Months later after a particularly bad-tempered El Clasico derby, Casillas reached out to Xavi in an attempt to calm the waters between both teams for the sake of the national team. Mourinho saw this as a breach of the captain’s responsibilities and a show of weakness to their arch-rivals.
Casillas wasn’t the only person at Madrid who had a run in with the manager. Before Mourinho rejoined Chelsea in the summer of 2013, Ramos and Casillas had a secret meeting with Florentino Perez. They told the president that if Mourinho didn’t leave both of them would. Ramos was publicly criticised by Mourinho on a number of occasions and when the defender questioned his decision to do so, he was dropped for the clubs crucial Champions League tie against Man City.
Originally the Brazilian born defender was one of Mourinho’s pets, the manager loved his no-nonsense approach at the back and was even tipped to join him at Chelsea. But after Mourinho’s negative public comments about Casillas, Pepe jumped to the goalkeeper’s defence, labelling the manager’s actions as “not adequate”. Mourinho responded by taunting Pepe about how he lost his place in the team to Varane, a 19-year-old prospect at the time.
Similarly to Shaw, Leon was a highly rated youngster when Jose took over the reins at Real Madrid. Signed from local minnows, Getafe in 2010, the winger was competing against Ozil and Di Maria for a starting place. As the season progressed Mourinho allegedly bullied Leon, singling him out in training for his lack of effort. One journalist reported that Mourinho told him he wouldn’t play even if the team plane crashed and he was the only one available.