Deco:”Mourinho, he’s a winner”

Deco:”Mourinho, he’s a winner”

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MOURINHO © Francesca Ceciarini

Former Chelsea player Deco was answering on Four Fourt Two reader’s mails and answering on some of the questions he has recalled his stay at Stamford Bridge under Jose Mourinho. Asked who was his best coach during his entire career without hesitation pointed to Jose Mourinho.

Who is the best manager you have ever played under?
”I think the best coach is Jose Mourinho. But I had a lot of important coaches in my career. Fernando Santos was very important for me when I came to Porto at 19-years-old. He taught me a lot of things that were important in the future. Carlo Ancelotti was a fantastic coach too, but I only worked one year with him. Scolari too, of course. But at that time Mourinho brought something different; he brought the ambition, because at that time in Portugal it was difficult for a club to think it could win the Champions League. Of course, Porto had won it in the past but it was a different time. After Bosman it was easier for players to move around, and clubs like Barcelona, Chelsea, Madrid, Manchester United had money to buy the best players. If you play well for one or two years at Porto it’s very difficult for them to keep the players, and therefore very difficult to win the Champions League. But Mourinho brought this confidence to us; we had a fantastic team and he gave us that final push to believe it was possible.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic wrote in his book about how Mourinho once threw the tactics board across the changing room at Inter. Was he prone to such moments of madness at Porto?

”Mourinho, he’s a winner. It’s difficult for him to accept results that don’t go his way. I can’t remember something like that but sometimes when we lost a game – which if you can remember wasn’t all that often in our time! – he would find it difficult to accept.”

In June 2004, you told a Portuguese radio station that you were almost certainly going to follow Jose Mourinho to Chelsea and that a deal was all but finalised. In July, you signed a four-year deal with Barcelona. What changed? Is it true Bayern Munich were after you as well?

”Nothing changed. Barcelona was always the club that I dreamt I’d play for. My decision was because of this, not because of Mourinho.”

”Maybe it would have been good with Mourinho, but Barcelona were there from the beginning. After 2003, they wanted to bring me to the club but Porto refused to sell me. I wanted to play for Barcelona and that was my decision. Bayern were always after me too since I was at Porto in 2000 or 2001. It was a big club but Barca was a dream from when I was young, and that’s why I went there.”