BBC.com

Jose Mourinho fury at secret recording about Chelsea strikers

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho said it was a “disgrace” a private conversation in which he appeared to criticise his strikers was broadcast on French TV.

Mourinho said he was joking when he complained about Chelsea’s lack of strikers and made an unflattering comment about Samuel Eto’o’s age.

“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”

Jose Mourinho

“It was a funny conversation with somebody that doesn’t belong to the football world,” Mourinho said.

“It is a disgrace that someone is taping a private conversation.”

Speaking ahead of his side’s Champions League last-16 tie against Galatasaray, Mourinho told the assembled media they should be “embarrassed” by the way French broadcaster Canal Plus published comments he had made about his players during a conversation eight days ago in Switzerland.

In the initial video Mourinho said: “The problem with Chelsea is I lack a striker. I have Eto’o but he is 32 years old, maybe 35, I don’t know.”

But in Tuesday’s news conference the Portuguese boss backed Eto’o, 32, and underlined that the Cameroon forward had played twice under him. At Inter, they won Serie A, the Italian Cup and the Champions League together, before the striker joined Chelsea on a free transfer from Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala last summer.

“I’m not defending what I’m saying. I’m attacking something that is, I think, fundamental in your professional area and that person showed exactly what he is or what he does not know about the job,” Mourinho continued.

“From my perspective, 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.”

Eto’o has only scored eight goals in 27 appearances since he arrived at Stamford Bridge last August. Fellow strikers Fernando Torres and Demba Ba have only managed 11 goals between them in all competitions.

But Chelsea are a point clear of Arsenal at the top of the Premier League with 11 games remaining.

Mourinho added: “It was with Eto’o that I had the best ever season of my career [at Inter]. He’s one of the few players who is working with me in a second different club and a manager never does that when he doesn’t like the player or doesn’t like the person.

“He has no reason to be upset because also he said a few years go that ‘Mourinho is the only manager in the world I would never play for’. After a few years he was playing with me at Inter and now he is playing for me. There is no story.”

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