Football

Mourinho hits out at media over private comments

ISTANBUL (AP) — Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has blasted the media for publicizing his disparaging comments about his forwards, comments he regarded as private and light-hearted.

While French television station Canal Plus was waiting for an interview with Mourinho last week in Nyon, Switzerland, it filmed him talking with a Swiss businessman at a sponsor event. Broadcast on Monday, when Chelsea was heading to Istanbul to play Galatasaray in the Champions League last 16, the clip shows Mourinho saying, "The problem with Chelsea is we lack a scorer. I have one (Samuel Eto'o) but he's 32. Maybe 35, who knows?"

At the pre-match news conference on Tuesday, he told media, "You all should be a bit embarrassed, because it's a case of the ethics you have in your work. From my point of view, is it an unhappy comment? Absolutely. But from the ethical point of view, it's a real disgrace.

"The comment is not obviously a good one, not one I would do in a serious way, not something I would do in an official way in an interview. First of all, because I don't make fun. Secondly, because, if there are managers in the world that really defend their players, I am obviously one of them. And third, because Samuel Eto'o is Samuel Eto'o."

While Mourinho was looking at having to rebuild bridges with Eto'o, Fernando Torres and Demba Ba in the Champions League knockout stages, he insisted he and Eto'o had no issues because of their history. Together, they won the treble in 2010 with Inter Milan; the Champions League, Serie A, and Italian Cup.

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

"There is no story. It was a funny conversation between me and somebody that doesn't belong to the footballing world. We were laughing, as everybody was saying. It's a disgrace that somebody has recorded a private conversation."

Also brought up was Monaco striker Radamel Falcao, who Chelsea lost interest in when he was priced too high: "I don't have Falcao but Falcao doesn't have a team," Mourinho said in comments captured by Canal Plus. "Who wants to play in front of 3,000 supporters? If I was one day to go to Monaco it would be at the end (of my career)."

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