Jose Mourinho reportedly made one of his Chelsea players cry with a particularly harsh team talk during his time at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea legend John Obi Mikel has opened up on Jose Mourinho’s time at Stamford Bridge by recalling when the Portuguese manager allegedly made Mohamed Salah cry during a scathing half-time team talk. Mourinho brought Salah to west London from Basel in 2014 but the Egyptian winger failed to make the grade and was shipped out on loan to Fiorentina and Roma, who later signed him permanently for a fee of around £13million.
Salah never seemed to reach his potential under the guidance of Mourinho and Mikel has admitted that he never thought that his former team-mate would go on to become the world-class player he is now at Liverpool. The Nigerian former midfielder spoke to Dubai Eye and lifted the lid on a half-time incident that ended up with Salah in floods of tears after a particularly harsh assessment of his performance from Mourinho.
“I think [Salah] was having a bad game and then obviously Mourinho came in and ripped into him, massively ripped into him,” explained Mikel.
When asked if he ever expected Salah to go on and become one of the world’s top players, Mikel replied: “No. He was in tears, and what happened is [Mourinho] didn’t let him back onto the pitch in the second half. He took him off.
“It would have been easy to just take him off and say: ‘You’re not playing well, off you go, sit down, you’re not going back onto the pitch’. But he ripped into him and took him off.”
Salah would go on to become one of the most feared attackers in world football after joining Liverpool in the summer of 2017, scoring 174 goals in 286 games while winning the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, League Cup, Super Cup and Club World Cup. He explained last year how he dealt with his failure to impress Mourinho at Chelsea by motivating himself to prove his doubters wrong in Italy prior to his Anfield switch.
“It was so tough for me mentally,” said Salah last year. “I couldn’t handle the pressure I had from the media, coming from outside. I was not playing that much. I felt: ‘No, I need to go’.
“You have two choices: to tell the people that they are right to put you on a bench, or to prove them wrong. I needed to prove them wrong. The best thing you could have is a serious conversation with yourself. Just get a coffee and just sit like this and just ask yourself what you want.
“Some people can’t face themselves properly, but I have no problem with that. If I’m struggling, I just face myself and just feel where I am.”