It’s an extremely difficult task for Jose Mourinho to single out the best he’s worked with but he has managed to whittle it down to eleven players as he named his all-time starting line-up
Jose Mourinho doesn’t have room for any Manchester United players in his all-time best XI.
The legendary manager has worked with some exceptional players during his trophy-laden spells at Porto, Inter Milan, Chelsea, and Real Madrid. His spell at Old Trafford wasn’t quite as spectacular but even then he lifted three pieces of silverware that have turned out to be the last three trophies United have won.
It’s an extremely difficult task to single out the best players Mourinho has worked with but the man himself has managed to whittle it down to eleven as he named his all-time starting line-up back in 2020 – with no United players able to make the cut.
Mourinho picked Petr Cech in goal with a back four of Javier Zanetti, John Terry, Ricardo Carvalho and Ashley Cole, while Claude Makelele, Frank Lampard and Mesut Ozil made up his midfield three.
The Portuguese gaffer picked a front three of Eden Hazard, Didier Drogba, and of course, Cristiano Ronaldo who has called ‘The Special One’ the greatest manager he has worked with.
Mourinho is spoilt for choice with the likes of Iker Casillas, Marcelo, Karim Benzema and Wesley Sneijder all missing out. The list goes on, but crucially the common theme in the XI is that United players are nowhere to be seen.
Wayne Rooney, David de Gea, Romelu Lukaku, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba are among the players who were omitted after Mourinho’s bitter exit from the club.
Mourinho insists that finishing second with United was one of his greatest ever achievements and that his time at the club is viewed unfairly. He has since moved on with Roma, after a spell at Tottenham, and now speaks highly of the club whenever they are mentioned.
The Roma manager was asked about how he turned around his relationship with Henrikh Mkhitaryan who he had a public falling out with at Old Trafford. The pair have buried their feud with the midfielder starring for the Italians en route to a Europa Conference League final.
And Mourinho insists it gives him great pleasure that they have been able to silence the doubters and was quick to remind them that they won three trophies together at Old Trafford – wishing the Red Devils well in the process.
He told Sky Sports last week: “We won three titles at Manchester United. Unfortunately, the club’s last three titles and I say unfortunately because I like the club very very much but we won three titles together so everything went well.
“In the second season together, it was a little bit different. The thing that makes me really happy is as always people try to be negative, saying Mhki and Jose have no chance. He is the type of guy when things go wrong, things never go well again. It was proven exactly the opposite.
“We were very mature, we were very honest with each other at that time. Even with Mino Raiola, rest in peace Mino, the discussions were very good. I always try and be very honest with the players so I saw my project in Rome needing a player like Mhki. I understood the importance of him in the group in the beginning.
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“He is having an amazing season and helping us cope with all the problems we faced as a small squad, one without many options. He was playing everywhere, as a winger, a no.10 and then we had Covid and injury troubles and he played as a central midfielder which he has never been in his life.
“I am so happy Mhki has been able to show that everything is not black and white with me and it is possible that I can have a relationship with a player that was different from the past.”
Mourinho’s all time best XI: Petr Cech, Javier Zanetti, John Terry, Ricardo Carvalho, Ashley Cole, Claude Makelele, Frank Lampard, Mesut Ozil, Eden Hazard, Cristiano Ronaldo, Didier Drogba.