During his time at Real Madrid, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was reportedly angered by the lack of unity among his squad when Michael Essien’s birthday was attended by just two of his teammates.
The former Ghanaian international was on a season-long loan at Real Madrid from Chelsea in 2012, when Jose Mourinho was in charge of Los Blancos. In December, on the occasion of his 30th birthday, Essien threw a party which only two of his teammates attended. According to MARCA, Robert Beasley’s new book about the Manchester United manager titled ‘Mourinho: Up Close and Personal’ reveals that this occurrence left the Portuguese manager absolutely enraged.
Beasley’s book mentions that Jose believed that this indicated there was a problem with the team spirit within the squad. Beasley states: “Mourinho said that Madrid was a political club with warring factions and told me a story about Essien inviting teammates to his 30th birthday but only a few turned up.”
Beasley went on to say that Mourinho had to console the midfielder, whom he had brought to Chelsea in the summer of 2005. “He had to console Essien, saying it was nothing personal and that it didn’t mean the players didn’t like him but they simply were only concerned with themselves and had better things to do,” Beasley writes. The only two team-mates who joined Essien for his birthday celebrations were Luka Modric and former teammate Ricardo Carvalho.
Mourinho himself had a difficult time at Real Madrid after falling out with senior names in the dressing room including Sergio Ramos, Iker Casillas and Cristiano Ronaldo. Fans were divided on their opinion about the Portuguese towards the end of his stay at Madrid despite his La Liga win in the 2011-12 season in record-breaking fashion. The senior players of the dressing room eventually got their way as Mourinho returned to Chelsea in 2013 along with Essien.