Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was at his brutal best on Friday when he spoke to the media ahead of Saturday’s clash at Sunderland. The Portugese took a swipe at the Ballon d’Or award, questioning its place in the world of football and mocking players who run “Obama-style” campaigns for an award that places the individual ahead of the team.
“This kind of trophy is not good for football,” he said. “This is why I don’t care about it. Sometimes it looks like we are looking for stars, we are looking for some people to be more important than others.
“In some cases, it looks like we are doing a political campaign. It looks like you open the television and radios and newspapers and, I have to say, in England we have the soft ones in that campaign. In other countries, it looks like Obama is fighting again for the White House. And this is not the culture we want in this club. The mentality here is not to be worried about that. Even less being obsessed with that.”
Mourinho has in the past managed the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, who has said, on record, more than once how important the Ballon d’Or is for him and his obsession with winning it. Perhaps this was a dig by Mourinho at his former player, then? We can only guess.
And when Ronaldo is involved, Lionel Messi can’t be far away. Reports in the media suggested that Lionel Messi, after becoming tired of life at Barcelona, had decided to switch to Chelsea in the summer.
But Mourinho was quick to rubbish the rumours linking the Barcelona star with his team, and commented on the lies and rumours that have become a part-and-parcel of the world of football journalism.
“Your world has changed so much that our world has changed. It’s so easy to have untruths circulating.
“Some people put news without confirming. Speak about rumours like true. It’s obviously not true.”
The Chelsea manager expressed his satisfaction with his team’s performances this season, and despite the suggestions that his team will be unbeaten throughout the season, Mourinho insisted Chelsea were simply looking to improve themselves and not concentrate on the result.
“I have enough experience not to be over the moon when we win or in hell when we lose.”
I’m not over the moon when I win. I’m not in hell when I lose and the players follow me in this. We’re not jumping every day or crying every day.
“We think about improving ourselves.”
“We’ve improved where we can without worrying about other factors and other teams. It’s their [the players’] responsibility. We can put everything at their disposal. We’re here all day if they want to be.”
Chelsea travel to Sunderland with a six point advantage over Southampton and an eight-point lead over Manchester City. At this rate, few would back the Blues to not be top of the table come Christmas, and perhaps even go all the way and seal the title by April.