Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho in a recent interview with Esquire magazine has claimed modern footballers are motivated by a desire for wealth and fame rather than sporting success, and said players should focus on football matches rather than preening themselves in front of mirrors on match days.
Mourinho, who has won league titles in four different countries, said:
“What I feel is that before, players were trying to make money during their career, be rich at the end of their career. But in this moment, the people who surround them try to make them rich before they start their career.
“They try to make them rich when they sign their first contract, when they didn’t play one single match in the Premier League, when they don’t know what it is to play in the Champions League.
“This puts the clubs in difficult conditions sometimes.”
The 51-year-old Mourinho, who is a two-time Champions League winner, revealed that it was up to him and fellow managers to adapt to today’s generation of young footballers.
“They are twenty-something and I am 51 and if I want to work with kids I have to understand their world.
“How can I stop my players on the bus doing, er, what do you call?… Twitters and these things? How can I stop them if my daughter and my son do the same? So, I have to adapt to the moment.”
Mourinho argued that if a youngster aims to win titles, money will follow. The Portuguese said wannabe stars should model themselves on Chelsea legends John Terry and Frank Lampard.
“You have to find the right boy: the boy who wants to succeed, has pride and passion for the game.
“His dream is not one more million or one less million, his dream is to play at the highest level, to win titles, because if you do these things you’ll be rich the same at the end of your career.
So we are working hard to give the best orientation to young players, to follow examples of guys from the past – the Lampards, the Terrys – who were always fanatical for victories.”
Mourinho also talked about his famed psychological warfare that he has been involved with various managers during his career. Talking about the “mind games” and personal battles, he said:
“In football, the only game I know is the 90-minutes game. It’s not mind games; I don’t try to do that.
“The period before the game can be important to influence opinions, characters, personalities, feelings and, of course, I use that to touch my players, to touch opponents, to touch supporters. But for me, the only game in football is the 90-minutes game.
“I prefer to play against the best players and the best teams and the best coaches. Never personal.”
He was also asked about his decision to return to Chelsea for a second time, and the risks associated with the move and whether it would negatively affect his legacy at the club.
“When I decide to come back, there is some risk of things going wrong, but I’m not afraid. I trust myself, I think I can do it again.
“I’m not afraid to lose my job and when you’re not afraid, you don’t feel any pressures. You are not too worried, you can express yourself in a different way. It makes you better, I think.”