Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has thrown more light into his relationship with Michale Essien during his managerial spell at Chelsea by describing the former Ghana international as not just a player, but a son.
He made this known in an interview when asked about the kind of relationship he had with the former Chelsea star. Mourinho brought Essien to Chelsea from Lyon in 2005, and the player went on to carve a niche for himself as one the club’s best ever midfielders, making over 250n appearances at Stamford Bridge.
Essien in his playing time at Chelsea was nicknamed ‘The Bison” and “The Train” due to his combative nature in midfield, He also scored some piledrivers during his time at Chelsea.
In the course of an interview with Malaysian broadcaster Astro SuperSport, Mourinho replied:
“He was not my player, he is my son – I am his white Daddy,” Mourinho said in an interview at Manchester United’s Carrington training ground.
“Tell you stories? I can tell you more than stories – feelings. That’s the feeling, he is more than a player for me.
“He was probably the only one who took me to his home, to the real home. To the place he was born, to the street where he played football as a kid.
“He made me fall in love with Ghana, with Accra where he lived, because then I had a better understanding of his mentality.
“I understand why as a player he was ready for everything, he was ready to die for the fellow players, for the club, for the manager, why he was ready to play like he did for me at Real Madrid with a knee that was not a knee anymore.
“It was a destroyed knee but with that personality, that desire and that mentality he suffered, always he suffered, but always with a smile. Michael smiles a lot.
“I loved so many of my players but I think Michael would be on the podium for sure.”