Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Jose Insists He's on Good Terms with Samuel

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Jose Insists He's on Good Terms with Samuel

Article excerpt

JOSE Mourinho insists his relationship with Samuel Eto'o is unaffected by footage showing him questioning the Chelsea striker's age. Preparations for the Champions League last-16 tie with Galatasaray have been somewhat overshadowed by Canal Plus broadcasting video of the Portuguese making inflammatory comments to a businessman at a sponsor's event. The recording, aired on Monday, shows Mourinho commenting on Chelsea's lack of depth up front and questioning the age of Cameroon forward Eto'o (pictured below).

Not knowing that he was being filmed, the Blues boss was recorded saying: "The problem with Chelsea is I lack a striker. He is 32 years old, maybe 35, who knows?" Mourinho was apoplectic about the remarks being broadcast, telling journalists they "should be embarrassed" by what has happened when asked about the fallout in yesterday's press conference previewing tonight's first leg with Galatasaray.

"I'm not defending what I'm saying, I'm attacking something that is, I think, fundamental in your professional area," he said. "That person showed exactly what he is, or what he doesn't know about the job.

"From my perspective, the comment is obviously not a good one, and obviously not something I would do in a serious way, something I would not do an official way in an interview.

"First of all, because I don't make fun. Secondly, because if there are managers in the world who really defend their players, I'm obviously one of them. And third because Samuel Eto'o is Samuel Eto'o. He's four times a Champions League winner: people think three times, but one in Real Madrid, two in Barcelona and one with Inter.

"It was with him that I had the best ever season of my career. He's one of the few players who is working with me at a second different club, and a manager never does that if he doesn't like the player or the person.

"He has no reason to be upset because also, he told a few years ago, that Mourinho is the only manager in the world who I would never play for, and after one year he was playing with me at Inter and now here.

"There is no story. I repeat: it was a funny conversation between me and somebody who doesn't belong to the football world. …

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